The Whiskey Room: Clyde May’s

In this episode of The Whiskey Room, we review a unique spirit from Alabama: Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey. With hints of apple and cinnamon, it’s a bit of a departure from our recent overproof escapades, but before you jump to any conclusions, trust us when we way it’s worth checking out. Read on for our review.

The Man

First things first: we’d like to tip our hats to Clyde May for being a part of the Greatest Generation and returning home from World War II with a Purple Heart and Medal of Valor. A true hero. Second, thank you for your moonshining craftiness and creating this very unique whiskey. The part where you served time in the “pen” for shining and bootlegging . . . well, we’ll excuse that for the rest of this review.

For 30 years Clyde pumped out around 300 gallons a week on a still of his own design. Most was sold as moonshine but some was designated for aging in charred oak barrels with dried apples – the way Clyde liked it. He insisted on a quality product and refused to compromise his equipment or ingredients. So this whiskey legend begins.

The Whiskey

When we say you can really taste the green apple, it’s not overwhelming but surprisingly well done. Please do not confuse this with Apple Pucker – this is the good stuff. Heavily charred oak barrels and 30 percent rye in the mash bill balances out the apple and spice notes perfectly. We’ve sampled many bourbons that have far more sweet to them than this one. This whiskey is simple and fun. It’s a great spring or summer sipper and would also work great in cocktails.

Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey - He Spoke Style

ALABAMA’S STATE BEVERAGE | Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Roll Clyde!

It’s hard to manufacture uniqueness. And when manufactured uniqueness is the goal, you’ll often find failure. It tastes contrived because it is contrived. When something is made without compromise by an individual that has passion for the product, that’s when the magic happens. The fact that Alabama officially named Clyde May’s whiskey by legislative resolution as their official state spirit makes us smile and should ensure this it lives on in the annals of whiskey history.

A Whiskey Even Mom Will Like

Now, moms and whiskey are two things that you don’t normally think of together. My mom, who is often a very good sport about having a very small “sip” of whatever whiskey I am really hot on at the moment, can barely hide her distaste straight whiskey. However, I’ve never seen her turn down a well-mixed cocktail. And with Mother’s Day right around the corner and Clyde May’s having some of that green apple sweetness, it’s a great whiskey to mix up a cocktail for mom with. There are several options on the Clyde May’s website, though if your mother is like mine, I’d head straight for the the Alabama Buck, the Alabama Mule, or the Alabama Orchard.

Highly encouraged in the comments and Twitter: sharing cocktail recipes you think would be perfect for Mother’s Day. Be sure to use the hashtag #clydemays.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa & Chris Sarangoulis
He Spoke Style

Disclosure: Compensation for this post was provided by Clyde May’s Whiskey. The opinions expressed herein are mine alone and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Clyde May’s Whiskey.


Chime In

  • The Kentucky Gent

    This definitely sounds like a unique whiskey, and one that I’ll have to add to my list as well.

    I’m headed to a dinner for the unveiling of Stitzel-Weller’s Blade and Bow. Can’t wait! happy Derby season.

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

    • Brian Sacawa

      Awesome! Let us know how it is. Cheers!

  • Cooper Kennard

    As a Southerner and Alabama grad, I’ve had a bottle of Clyde Maye’s in my bar for some time. Since I moved to Illinois, I always make a point to bring a bottle or two back with me after I visit home down South. You guys were spot on in the taste and how it feels on the palette. I had friends turned off by it having “apple and cinnamon” on the bottle, but they were all pleasantly surprised after filling a glass.

    I mixed this whiskey into a julep this past weekend and it was very unique. I did not add any extra sugar to the cocktail and it was perfect.

    I have been following your blog for over a year and this is still my favorite new segment. Now if there is a way to add cigar pairings or separate segments for cigars, I’ll be sold!