For hundreds of years, farmers took their excess produce and turned it into liquid gold to help supplement their income. It was a time-honored tradition and the Conecuh Ridge is an area that was renowned for its illegal whiskey-making. At one point, Federal agencies said it had the heaviest concentration of stills in the US.
Working in small batches and with careful attention to detail, Clyde produced a warm, amber whiskey containing a hint of apples. In the deep South, there remain folk who still keep unmarked bottles of Mr. Clyde's Special Reserve tucked away as carefully as family Bibles and precious photographs.
Today, we take pride in keeping true to Mr. Clyde's values both in life and whiskey-making. Our new American whiskey embodies his spirit. We use a mash bill that consists of corn, rye and malted barley, and then age our whiskey in new caramel-charred white oak barrels. Clyde May's Whiskey is meant to be sipped and savored. Allow the warmth and aroma of our amber spirit to transport you down the red-clay roads of Alabama to a simpler time.
42. 5% abv
After serving in World War II, Clyde returned to Alabama to farm his land and raise a family. Though Clyde reared eight children, his farming endeavors were not as successful. Following in the well-worn footsteps of many before him, he turned to the illegal trade of whiskey-making, or "branch-farming" as he liked to call it, to help supplement his income.
May sold much of his whiskey unaged, right from the still, but some he put down in barrels. He spent a large portion of his life perfecting the art of small batch whiskey-making and continued to experiment with different methods until he finally developed what came to be known as "Mr. Clyde's Special Reserve. "
In 1946, before the craft whiskey boom, Clyde May revolutionized the art of whiskey-making by crafting a unique style of whiskey that resulted in unparalleled smoothness and richness. Clyde May, the Alabama born and bred moonshiner, figured much on his own, including how to keep bourbon barrels hidden from the law. He liked to use big ol' piles of sawdust to bury his prized barrels until they were ready to tap. Kind of happy accident then, but he learned that piling saw dust on the barrels helped the maturation process. In fact, while the booze stayed hidden, it got a little toastier and more flavorful along the way.