“When you live in the mountains you get to know the locals,” Troylyn Ball told a CBS news reporter last month. She then jovially grabbed the reporters arm and said, “if they like you, they bring you moonshine.”
Troy moved her family from Texas to the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina, and soon discovered the countryside’s moonshine culture, leftover from the lore of 19th-century midnight whiskey makers.
The locals, it turns out, were modern-day moonshiners who brought her unmarked mason jars of homemade spirits as a sign of welcome. “They took me under their wings,” says Troy, going on to explain that they all mentored her individually.
“They’re all very private people,” she says, “who let me experience making whiskey up in the mountains on their stills, and they all have unique modes of creating their whiskey.” She developed a passion for moonshine immediately. “To my benefit and the trust that these people put in me, I was able to learn how to make a product that is exceptionally smooth and high-quality.”
The whiskey from Troy & Sons is just that, notably so because it is distilled from Crooked Creek Corn, an heirloom white corn that has been preserved at the distillery on Asheville’s McEntire Farm since the 1840s. That’s how they know they’re making an authentic American spirit, they say.
The “& sons” of Troy are her three sons Marshall, Coulton & Luke. (I highly recommend reading the family biography on their website.) For Troy, her sons remind her that perseverance, determination and a love of life runs in the family. With a dram of their moonshine and a cheers to follow, those are words to live by.