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Pineapple moonshine? Why, I had no idea that pineapples grew in Tennessee, but that’s just the tip of this iceberg. These folks have a dozen flavors of Ole Smokey Moonshine. They must have caught the flavor fever from the vodka producers who now offer hundreds of exotic flavored vodkas. I could almost understand their apple pie flavored moonshine or blackberry, strawberry, peach or possibly even watermelon but come on, pineapple?

Traditionally, moonshine is meant to be a pure, straightforward, un-aged corn whiskey of high proof that causes swearing, thigh slapping, foot stomping and back whacking and not some watered down drink with an umbrella in it that causes delicate conversations about pastel colored frocks, the shapes of fluffy clouds and bemused gentle wonderings about the neighbor’s latest indiscretion. Ole Smokey’s unflavored moonshine weighs in at 100 proof, while the fruit flavored shine has been stepped back to a gentle 40 proof. At that low proof, I would venture to not call this stuff moonshine but maybe some sort of digestif or aperitif or even a liqueur or maybe a froo-froo drink or even sunshine rather than moonshine. Okay, now I admit all these rants originate from my prejudiced purist soul that demands that moonshine be moonshine and nothing but moonshine and on the way down seriously injure my mouth and throat, not to mention my liver. But maybe a taste will sway me from my straight, narrow, highly opinionated blind and bigoted path – let’s see.

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I’ll give them this, it comes in the traditional mason jar with the screw down cap. The contents is pineapple in color, syrupy looking, and definitely not transparent. The nose approximates the smell of tart pineapple, with a hint of pear, and is sharp but not alcohol sharp, as I cannot detect the aroma of the alcohol at all. WOW, that’s one sweet and fruity palate for sure. There is definitely the taste of pineapple again followed by the pear and a hint of orange, and although there is a fair amount of sugar, it is balanced by a tartness I can’t quite put my finger on. I also get a bit of the traditional sugar and corn flavor of standard moonshine. I detect little to almost no alcohol in this blend. The finish is sweet and short and smooth. It is so laid back that you could actually sip this straight up without a problem. I find it rather pleasing on the rocks, if just maybe a bit too much on the sweet side. I tried it in iced tea and much to my surprise it played quite nice, sweetening up the tea just enough. I do believe this might make a very nice mixer in a margarita or maybe even replace the simple syrup in a Long Island Iced Tea.

For a low calorie, low alcohol, fruit flavored spirit, it’s pleasant enough, but I would recommend you get a jar of their full strength 100 proof moonshine (it’s the same price $19.99) as this 40 proof pineapple flavored sunshine, slice up some fresh pineapple and muddle up a batch and let me know which one you prefer.

By George Brozowski

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