Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper is probably the best-known motorbike film in the world. Despite not having much of a story, the film celebrates the sex, drugs and rock n’roll cliché perfectly. Of course, with so much rock, pot and sex, no one will ever remember the script anyway. The film was the icon of a generation and defined a genre and everything that goes with it – hair blowing in the wind, leather jackets and chains around the neck.
However, nothing comes close to representing the Easy Rider style like a certain brand of motorbikes. One that maybe, from the title of this post, you have already guessed: Harley Davidson. The Harleys are the motorised version of the iconic, anti-establishment spirit of Easy Rider bikers. Even though, let’s face it, it has always been closely aligned with the establishment.
Obviously, such success needs to be used to advantage. Harley Davidsons aren’t just motorbikes. As I said, they are ultimate symbols of a lifestyle and what could be more natural than the brand expanding into products related to that lifestyle. The official Harley store has it all – jackets, helmets, boots, gloves, glasses and posters and a myriad of accessories.
Catching a lift (get it?) on the back of this fame, Ole Smoky, a well-known producer of American moonshines, has released a special edition in conjunction with Harley Davidson. Ole Smoky Harley-Davidson Road House Customs Moonshine is matured in highly charred American oak barrels. Visually, the product is incredible. It comes in a jar, with a crooked label and a metal lid, exuding all the rebelliousness of motorbikes.
It isn’t, however, very aggressive to the palate. Ole Smoky Harley-Davidson Road House Customs Moonshine is very sweet, almost reminiscent of burnt syrup, and the alcohol is not very well integrated, so not exactly aggressive. The alcohol content is high, by the way, 51.5%, but hides behind the moonshine’s excessive sweetness. Incidentally this is intentional. In American measurements, this corresponds to 103 proof – a tribute to Harley Davidson’s twin-cam 103 engine.
Ole Smoky Harley-Davidson Road House Customs Moonshine is produced by Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, a corn whisky distillery located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In addition, the distillery produces more than twenty different expressions, among them aged and unaged whiskies and moonshines. There is for example, a moonshine with peach and another with strawberry and even a weird blue one with more than 60% alcohol content.
It’s hard to compare it to any other bourbon whisky. It might be best to use a metaphor here – imagine that any bourbon – a Woodford Reserve for example – is a rock song. Now, turn the instruments up, distort the voice and change the tempo. The result will be a set whose elements don’t really match. Ole Smoky Harley-Davidson Road House Customs Moonshine is exactly this: the juxtaposition of whisky elements but don’t get to communicate very well.
None of that matters though, because Ole Smoky Harley-Davidson Road House Customs Moonshine has a beautiful caramel colour and is sold in a jar. On the jar is a black label with the coveted motorbike brand in the world: Harley Davidson. As I said, with such a rebellious look, nobody is going to stick to the script.
OLE SMOKY HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD HOUSE CUSTOMS MOONSHINE
Type: moonshine (corn)
Brand: Ole Smoky
Aroma: Caramel sweets, burnt sugar and alcohol.
Flavour: More burnt sugar – sweet molasses, alcohol and pepper.
Availability: International shops