One of the newest players on the moonshine scene in Saskatchewan is Bandits Distillery out of Weyburn. They've gone all-in on one of North America’s most infamous liquors. With everything from traditional moonshine to flavoured moonshine like coffee, chocolate, peach and apple pie.
The strong and (usually) clear alcohol has quite the story, a story that often leaves people a little afraid to try it. It’s believed the term moonshine comes from the term “moonrakers” which was used to describe early English smugglers into America. The name lived on because moonshine was often made at night to avoid attention as it remained illegal in much of America until 2010.
In it’s most basic form, moonshine is simply unaged whisky. Like whisky, moonshine can be made with a variety of different ingredients. The most popular ways include corn, wheat, and sugar. The ingredients a distillery chooses to use will ultimately come down to what they plan on doing with their moonshine.
In Bandits case, they use Saskatchewan wheat that comes from their own farm. (They also have a meat business, so they’re a complete operation down there.) Just how well do they know the base of their moonshine? The family has been farming in Saskatchewan for over 100 years. They even traveled and learned about distilling methods from America's deep south to Russia.
The biggest stereotype of moonshine is that’s it’s just really strong booze that has no flavor, a horrible tasting flavor or it's just plain dangerous to drink it. That can be true, especially if you’re trying something someone has made themselves (but that is technically illegal in Saskatchewan, so you didn’t hear that from us).
No, you won’t go blind. In fact, you might actually enjoy the relatively smooth flavour of Bandit's traditional moonshine. It’s also highly flexibility liquor that can be used in a wide range of drinks to suit your needs. If the traditional stuff still has you a little worried, Bandit's also makes flavoured moonshines will win you over.
Bandits wanted to make sure they got every detail right before hitting the market. It took them three years but it’s well worth the wait. Everything from the bottles, to the labels and of course, the booze on the inside had to be done right.
If moonshine still isn’t your thing, Bandits has produced a top-notch gin and vodka as well. Word is there’s a whisky on the way as well, which only makes sense as they have to do is age what they already got.
Bandits Distilling is just another example of our commitment to carrying the best this province has to offer. If there’s a new brewery or distillery that we should know about, drop us a comment below!