Alabama Style Whiskey

I recently was sent a bottle of Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey. Ever since my visit to the Turtle Bar's whiskey collection outside of New Orleans, I have been fascinated with the history and culture in the South around whiskey. While the drink was excellent, what was far more interesting is the legendary man behind the name. Serving in the Army’s 77th Infantry Division during World War II. He earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart while commanding a 12-man rifle squad, after being wounded he returned home to Conecuh Ridge, Alabama and started distilling moonshine, while he operated outside the law, his moonshine became some of the most wanted in all of Alabama. So did Clyde, so the state gave him an all-expense-paid eight-month vacation at the federal penitentiary in Montgomery. But before he was even released on parole, he was planning on building his next still. 

The bulk of Clude's whiskey was typically sold unaged and to avoid the law in small batches. But for his special blend May would use baked apples to coat the charred oak barrels for his most prized aged whiskey. Aged for five to six years, this apple-infused whiskey is what came to know as "Alabama Style" whiskey. 

Since 1946, Clyde's Conecuh Ridge distillery has been producing some of the best whiskey in the country, almost completely uninterrupted. Clyde's son revived the recipe after his father's passing in 1990, having the whiskey distilled in Kentucky, but the dream was always to bring it back home to Alabama. 

In 2017 Conecuh Ridge Distillery announced plans for a tasting facility, rack houses, and bottling center in Troy, Alabama opened sometime in the near future. Alabamans are passionate about Clyde May, who is somewhat of a folk-hero for the state, so much so that his whiskey became the first officially recognized "state spirit" in the country, and they are the only whiskey to hold the title Official State Spirit of Alabama™. 

It's not just Alabamans that love Clyde May, the multiple award-winning whiskeys took home gold medals at Microliquor in 2012, and Spirit of Americas in 2013, has been named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Top 50 Spirits, and in 2017 took home a 93 rating in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. While you used to have to know a guy, who knew a guy, who knew Clyde if you wanted a bottle; today you can buy his famous whiskey in all 50 states. 

I really enjoy the smooth flavor, it is rich, oaky, and with a hint of apple, it's great served neat, but to really enhance the apple flavor, try it over ice with a splash of fresh apple juice. 

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Note: While I did receive the whiskey at no charge, I was not paid for my opinion or to promote the brand.