We are pleased to introduce Clyde May’s whiskey as our July Whiskey of the Month. Clyde May was a farmer and WWII veteran who decided to make moonshine to supplement his income, a common pastime in his home territory around the Conecuh Ridge in Southern Alabama. One of the unlucky ones, Clyde found himself doing time in a Federal penitentiary, yet upon his release he did what any moonshiner at heart would do – he went right back to making moonshine.
Clyde May did a couple of things which were unusual for a moonshiner – he aged his whiskey in charred oak barrels, as was common for Bourbon. In the hot climes of Southern Alabama, the whiskey would age relatively quickly. He also added oven-dried apples to his barrels, to smooth out the whiskey and give it a little extra fruit character.
In 2002, Clyde’s son Kenny May decided to go into the family business, legit this time, and opened a distillery. Since then, they have been making a unique and delicious whiskey according to Clyde’s old formula, which he liked calling “Alabama Style.” Their efforts have been rewarded with many awards and gold medals at prestigious tasting events, and an excellent rating of 93 from the Wine Enthusiast. We encourage you to give it a try, it’s unlike any whiskey you’ve ever tried, and probably the smoothest, in spite of its bottling at 86 proof.
The mash bill consists of corn, rye, and malted barley. On the nose, caramel and coconut leap out of the glass, and on the palate the malty grain flavors are still in the forefront, typical for a 4-year whiskey, but the fruit flavors of dried apple and orange peel take over mid palate, as a rich, boozy cream character envelops the tongue. The finish of black tea, candy apple, and charcoal is as refreshing as it is intriguing. Heady stuff. Bring in your passport for a complimentary pour any time during July!
It’s free to join the Big Jones Bourbon Society, just ask your server or bartender to sign up on your next visit. You’ll receive a passport to forty of our more than sixty whiskeys. On each visit, members are welcome to one complimentary pour of the Whiskey of the Month (WOM) which will usually (but not always) be a straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Big Jones Bourbon Society members will also receive invitations to members-only events such as whiskey tastings and whiskey socials.
Of course you’re welcome to enjoy any whiskey on our list at any time. We’ll mark off your passport as you taste each of the forty whiskeys, and once you’ve tasted them all, you will earn the distinction of Master Taster, and win tickets for two to a one-of-a-kind all-out whiskey dinner. As the ranks of Master Tasters grows, we will host a series of dinners for Master Tasters.