Southern Tradition: Palmetto Distillery
My wife and I recently got the opportunity to tour the Palmetto Distillery. Owned by Trey and Bryan Boggs, the distillery is well known for South Carolina’s First Legal Moonshine as well as fine southern whiskey. The story behind its humble beginnings, from their ancestor who ran moonshine back in the 1800s illegally, to the two brothers’ vision to make their own and make sure that the government gets their cut. Red tape, taste testing and licensing was proverbial hurdles that the owners encountered during the journey, yet the end result was a moonshine that was smooth to the taste and left no residual after effects like other distilled moonshine.
During the tour, the staff shared with us “Moonshine 101” which is the process taken to create moonshine. They also shared with us little known facts behind the end by products of the moonshine process: the heads, body, and tails. The “heads” is the most potent of the liquor created, with a high alcohol content of 100 to 150 proof. This stuff, if one was to drink it, could be poisonous. The “Body” consists of alcohol and water, is about 80 proof and a little higher, this is drinkable and what distillers look to create. The “Tails” is the remnants of what was fermenting for 14 days, and is beyond nasty. While it is alcohol, you never want to try and drink it. Then there is the mash that is left, which from what the staff told us, they give to a local hog farmer to feed to their pigs, to help “season” the meat so to speak.
After the tour, we were given the opportunity to sample the moonshine that has caused quite a stir in SC. From the regular moonshine that was smooth and clean (aka White Lightning) the flavored moonshines (Blackberry, Peach, Apple Pie and Strawberry, made with natural fruit) to my favorite taste during the tour, the Palmetto Whiskey, 89.3 proof, which is 21% rye matured in new French Oak. Truly worthy of the medals it has won over the years, the tones and hints of caramel flavor of this whiskey impressed me, so of course I had to get a bottle for future sampling with family and friends!
The Distillery also creates their own line of mixers, hot sauce, seasonings and jellies. I can see why this place is a must visit if you are in Anderson of visiting Clemson University.
To learn more about the distillery, and to get your bottle of this hidden gem of the south, visit:
200 West Benson Street | Anderson SC 29624
Mon – Wed 10am-6pm | Thur – Sat 10am-7pm
Distillery Phone: 864-226-9917 Corporate Phone: 864-760-0469