From its early moonshine history to the sustainable grains that make today’s whiskey, Kentucky’s Casey Jones Distillery is gearing up to expand its portfolio with the release of a wheated Kentucky straight bourbon.
The Casey Jones Wheated follows on the heels of the distillery’s straight bourbon with a new mash bill of bloody butcher corn and soft Kentucky wheat.
The wheated bourbon, according to those behind it, is aged three years in charred new oak barrels, turning the new expression a deep, golden amber and caramel color.
And to coincide with the launch of the new bourbon, Master Distiller Arlon “AJ” Casey Jones hand picked one barrel of their new wheated bourbon for a unique “bottle your own bourbon” event earlier this May. Folks got to experience the Kentucky distillery first hand as they captured the newest bourbon from barrel to bottle.
Those new to the distillery learned that it was way back during Prohibition, when Al Capone got moonshine from a variety of places, but the favored spot was in Golden Pond, Kentucky.
And in Golden Pond, Casey Jones was the local master stillmaker. It is said revenuers could tell a still was Casey’s just by looking at it. Fellow moonshiners and Chicago’s infamous gangster knew Casey’s stills by the superior product they produced as well.
In Golden Pond after World War I, jobs were scarce and moonshining became a necessity. There was plenty of water, and abundance of corn, and sugar was easy to come by. But for a great still, you had to call Casey Jones.
For more than 30 years, Casey Jones built stills all over Kentucky using only copper. He wouldn’t use steel, even though it was cheaper, because it was said he would say it was coated with potentially lethal zinc.
His skill was knowing exactly how much and what gauge copper a certain size still would require. With just a torch, a hammer, snips, crimping pliers, and a soldering iron, Casey built three-piece stills that were easy to set up and easy to move.
He charged about $20 (around $350 in today’s dollars) and a gallon or two of the product. And today, the distillery’s “Casey’s Cut Moonshine” is named in honor of the still maker and his preferred method of payment.
What’s described as Casey’s legacy and passion inspired his grandson, Arlon Casey Jones, to follow in his footsteps. Casey built his last still in 1967. AJ used that still, which is on display in the Casey Jones Distillery Lounge, as a guide to build the still they use today.
As master distiller, AJ crafts every batch of Casey Jones Moonshine using what’s said to be a recipe that has been handed down through generations of the Jones family.
And today, that whiskey making brings forward the new Casey Jones Distillery Wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which clocks in between 100 and 110 proof and is now available for purchase at the distillery, online, and at local retailers.
For more information or to find a bottle, check out www.caseyjonesdistillery.com.
Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...