Moonshine and Bourbon from Kings County Distillery

I always get a bit of an itch when distilleries release a moonshine. The definition of moonshine is that it is illegally distilled hooch, and when it’s properly released it is everything but that. So, apart from marketing it doesn’t mean anything, except that marketeers don’t really have much regard for the truth.

So, in the end, we’re having a new make spirit and a bourbon from Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, New York. My sister went there years ago, and brought me these two wee bottles. Somehow I recently decided to open them while playing a few games of Magic the Gathering through my webcam setup.

From there, things went quickly, but my level of play didn’t really go up. Apparently, drinking and trying to keep track of hundreds of variables isn’t really a good combination.

Anyway, here’s the tasting notes that I recently wrote, just before I emptied the bottles:

Kings County Distillery Moonshine, 40%


Image from Whiskybase

The typical sweetness of fresh alcohol. There’s a corn like sweetness too. It’s very much not a malt spirit. Slightly minty, with fresh herbs. Cornbread.

The palate is pretty intense, dry and grainy. Sweet with corn syrup and fruit candy. Winegums even.

The finish, again, is sweet. Alcohol, slightly herbaceous.

Much further than ‘this is drinkable’ is out of reach. It’s far from bad, but it is also rather uninteresting. It certainly lacks something in complexity and depth. Not surprising for a new make spirit, but at least I didn’t go blind. Which, with real moonshine, would be a possibility.

This new make has the problem virtually all new makes have. There’s just no point in drinking it.

Not a clue how to score this. 70/100 or so?

Kings County Distillery Moonshine, 40%, € 18-ish

Kings County Distillery Bourbon, 45%


Image from Whiskybase

Slightly fiery, but not sharp. Minerals, wood, dried herbs. Not overly sweet, but there’s a candy like scent.

Quite sharp, definite oak influence, with spices and chili peppers. Corn syrup, dry sawdust, tobacco.

The finish loses the sharpness quickly, but there’s a warmth that lingers and is quite nice. Oak and sawdust.


Nice and drinkable, not great. I think this is quite young and it wouldn’t hurt to mature this a couple of years longer. I think this could be quite good, but it’s just not there yet.

All in all, I prefer the book over the booze.

Kings County Distillery Bourbon, 45%, € 30


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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