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Grandy's Bogalusa Sippin' Whiskey

Note Artisanal Labling

In honor of my brother Larry’s uncalculated birthday (which missed), the 4717 introduces the world to the first run of a whiskey that you probably can’t get. From the historic Murffbrau Brewery, comes the flagship experiment in brown water: Grandy’s Bogalusa Sippin’ Whiskey.

Generally, when friend or family makes booze the reviews are qualified – like when a pop star gets the lead in a movie. You might say, “Hey this is pretty good!” but what you mean is, “Hey, this is pretty good, for you. Whom I personally know to be a clod.” See the difference? Now, as much as it pains me to say it, Murffbrau beer went from the sort of chewy carbonated whiskey Larry produced in college to a really good craft beer – by the standards of Asheville, North Carolina. Which is no mean feat.

Which may be the trick to Grandy’s Bogalusa Sippin’ Whiskey. With the exception of brandy, any brown water you are liable to get your hands on is distilled beer, so step one was already sorted. Distill that, and you’ve got, more or less, moonshine. As I’ve written before, moonshine is a job unfinished. So the juice is put into a tub with oak chips that you can now get pre-charred to a specific level. I suppose that you could char the oak yourself but unless you worked summers at a cooperage, how the hell would you possibly know how? At any rate, wood chips are faster than barreling. And yet, maybe it’s a Murff thing, he couldn’t leave well-enough alone, and had to finish it off in a barrel (ordered to the same char.)

An unchristened first attempt tasted like Irish Whiskey… maybe not a call brand, but not rot-gut either. Not a bad fate, but that wasn’t the intention. So the process was tweaked and soon he was getting at something that could be named. Which was the only part of the process in which I had any part.

Our mother’s grandmother handle is “Grandy.” The lady’s lifetime consumption of alcohol consists of slightly lessthan a glass of wine (except communion). Her criminal record, which started and ended sometime before the Beatles were a thing, consists of one arrest in Bogalusa, Louisiana on the way to the Ole Miss/LSU game. It’s an epic family joke that nearly always fails to point out that the entire thing was largely Dad’s fault – he’d pressed some Phi Delt pledge into being the game party’s driver. It was a different time… the local police had a good time telling Mom and her roommate at the Chi-O house that they were going to jail.

So obviously, we had to name it after her. To wit: Grandy’s Bogalusa Sippin’ Whiskey.

And it’s actually pretty good. Sure, the good people over at Woodford have him beat, but they are professional distillers while Larry goes stomping around in the tech sector. To test, I’ve force nearly every person who has come to my house since Christmas to have a thoughtful snort. Which is a strain on hospitality: Telling someone to taste homemade whiskey is a little like asking them to pull your finger - they’ll do it if they can’t see a way out, but brace for the worst.

The reviews so far have been uniform: “Your brother made this?” No one has left a glass unfinished.

So not bad, bro.


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