About Clyde May's Straight Bourbon Whiskey
After serving in World War II, legend has it that Clyde May returned to his native Alabama to raise his eight children and tend to the farm that he had purchased before the war began. Like many farmers at the time, Clyde would distill the excess grains he harvested into corn whiskey — "branch-farming," he liked to call it. From the 1950s to the 1980s, May managed to produce nearly 300 gallons of whiskey a week just southeast of Montgomery in a still that he had designed and built himself. While much of May's whiskey was sold unaged, a portion of the whiskey he produced was aged in charred oak casks into which dried apples were dropped in order to enhance the flavor.
Always distilling whiskey outside the law, May was arrested in 1973 and served an 18-month sentence at the Maxwell Air Force Base. "He sure had a reputation for making fine whiskey," said Thomas Allison, a former officer with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Upon his release, May gave up his cell to the man who convicted him — Attorney General John Mitchell, who was convicted in 1974 on charges relating to the Watergate scandal.
After May's death in 1990, his son, Kenny, took up the family business and began working with Kentucky Bourbon Distillers to produce a whiskey in honor of his father. Clyde May's Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a five-year-old whiskey, aged in heavily “alligator” charred new American oak barrels, non-chilled filtered and bottled at 92 proof.
With a mash bill of 78% corn, 12% rye, and 10% barley, Clyde May's bourbon is a venture away from their traditional, coined and trade-marked Alabama Style whiskey, which has oven-dried apples added to barrels of new-make whiskey. This straight bourbon was first launched in September of 2016, on Clyde May’s birthday and during National Bourbon Heritage Month. The release received a Gold medal in the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and a 93 rating in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
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There are not many things more American than bourbon, and although most of it is produced in Kentucky, it can be produced all over the USA.
It must be made with at least 51% corn and bottled at 40% ABV or higher. So why not give this American classic a try?
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