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Old 06-15-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

RIP Popcorn Sutton! He was a true mountaineer bootlegger. Anyone here ever tried true bootleg shine (180 proof)? As a true Southerner, it's a shame that I've never gotten a hold of any shine.

Popcorn Sutton was the man and his life shouldn't have ended this way b/c of federal laws.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPuWX7d7yEw

http://dekerivers.wordpress.com/2009...ee-moonshiner/
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

Popcorn Sutton died a year or two ago bro.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

About ten or so years ago, I read a really fascinating magazine article on the 'shine industry and its role in American history. I would love to find it again.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

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Originally Posted by M1903A1 View Post
About ten or so years ago, I read a really fascinating magazine article on the 'shine industry and its role in American history. I would love to find it again.
I seem to remember hearing somewhere that NASCAR's founding was intimately tied with the bootlegging industry in some fashion, but I can't recall any more details or where I heard it, or, if it's even true.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

Eh, so it seems that the tie-in between the two isn't as great or as romantic as it's been made out to be, more like just taking vehicle design ideas.

http://www.nascar.com/2004/promos/20...sport_history/
http://nascarfans.wetpaint.com/page/Bootlegging+Roots


But here's an interesting coincidence, Junior Johnson, who really was a bootlegger and did 11 months in federal prison for it, was just recently (a few weeks ago) inducted into the NASCAR hall of fame.
http://www.nascar.com/2010/news/opin...hof/index.html
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

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Anyone here ever tried true bootleg shine (180 proof)? As a true Southerner, it's a shame that I've never gotten a hold of any shine.
Yes, and if you can be assured of the quality of the equipment and integrity of the distiller, it's some good stuff! Not sure if it was 180 proof, but it was corn mash and very tasty. Some of the best that I've had was infused with black cherries
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

When it comes to moonshine, the difference between "corn squeezin's" and "white lightnin' " is significant. Good corn can be clear or golden yellow, and is amongst the smoothest sips you'll ever taste. Lighinin' is almost always clear, and will peel paint.

At least, that's been MY experience.

As for the NASCAR connection, it is a fact that many runners would take their "working" cars out on a Saturday for somewhat unstructured races, both for the fun and the chance to win an extra fifty bucks or so. I know a bit about this, as my daddy back in Hickory made a few runs in his youth, and one gran'daddy squeezed a bit himself. The other gran'dad drank a bit of it.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

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Originally Posted by T.G View Post
Popcorn Sutton died a year or two ago bro.
He took his own life in 2009.
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As for the NASCAR connection, it is a fact that many runners would take their "working" cars out on a Saturday for somewhat unstructured races, both for the fun and the chance to win an extra fifty bucks or so.

NASCAR's roots were heavily influenced by bootleggers.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

I've had shine from NC, KY, VA & WV. West Virginia produces the best I've ever had.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

I have had moonshine once about a year ago and thought it was decent. I think it was from the Carolina's and was clear. It's not a liquor to age. Must be fresh distilled to be at its best.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

I've had moonshine!!!

I enjoyed my eyesight more!!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

I recall reading somewhere that Richard Petty's first hot rod / shine running car was a '49 Plymouth Business Coupe that he dropped a 265 Chrysler flathead six into.

I've got an all stock '49 Plymouth Special Deluxe four door that I've been tooling around in. It had been parked in a warehouse since '74 when the original owner overheated the engine and detonated the ring lands off of a couple of the pistons. I dropped another 217 Plymouth six into it and headed off into the sunset.

I've got a 250 DeSoto flathead six that was rebuilt before someone yanked it and dropped a modern engine in their car. The DeSoto and Chrysler six is basically the same engine, just a different stroke. I think that I'm going to drop it into the Plymouth along with a vintage Borg Warner electric overdrive and make my own version of Petty's shine runner, albeit with two too many doors.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloxite View Post
I recall reading somewhere that Richard Petty's first hot rod / shine running car was a '49 Plymouth Business Coupe that he dropped a 265 Chrysler flathead six into.

I've got an all stock '49 Plymouth Special Deluxe four door that I've been tooling around in. It had been parked in a warehouse since '74 when the original owner overheated the engine and detonated the ring lands off of a couple of the pistons. I dropped another 217 Plymouth six into it and headed off into the sunset.

I've got a 250 DeSoto flathead six that was rebuilt before someone yanked it and dropped a modern engine in their car. The DeSoto and Chrysler six is basically the same engine, just a different stroke. I think that I'm going to drop it into the Plymouth along with a vintage Borg Warner electric overdrive and make my own version of Petty's shine runner, albeit with two too many doors.
You got some Petty Blue paint laying around?
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

I never heard of Popcorn Sutton, but I have more than a passing acquaintance with moonshine in Eastern TN and Western VA, and deeply love that part of the USA. I did a quick Google search and found this obituary from the Wall Street Journal:



Quote:
A scrawny, long-bearded mountain man with a foul mouth and a passing acquaintance with copper tubing and kettles, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton seemed the embodiment of moonshiners of yore.

Brought up in rural Cocke County, Tenn., identified as one of four “moonshine capitals of the world” in the corn-whiskey history “Mountain Spirits,” Mr. Sutton learned the family trade from his father. The practice goes back to the Scots-Irish, who brought it to the New World, and it wasn’t illegal until after the Civil War, says Dan Pierce, chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

“This is something that legitimately is an expression of the culture of this region,” Mr. Pierce says.

Like his forebears, Mr. Sutton had brushes with the law, and was first convicted of selling untaxed liquor in the early 1970s. He mostly kept out of trouble after that, though friends say his nickname came from an unfortunate encounter with a balky barroom popcorn machine. But he was well known as a distiller around his native Parrottsville.

He was a familiar figure at the Misty Mountain Ranch Bed & Breakfast in nearby Maggie Valley, N.C., wearing faded overalls and with a back stooped, he said, from decades of humping bags of sugar into the hills. He picked the banjo and serenaded guests on the inn’s porch. He helped decorate the $155-a-night Moonshiner suite at the inn with some still hardware.

Mr. Sutton put a modern spin on his vocation, appearing in documentaries and even penning an autobiography, “Me and My Likker.” Souvenir shops in Maggie Valley sold his video, “The Last Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make,” and even clocks with his image on them.

Other moonshiners have gone legit and cashed in; a former Nascar driver and moonshiner now offers Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon in Southern liquor stores. But Mr. Sutton insisted on earning a living the old-fashioned way, and in 2007, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives busted him with 850 gallons of moonshine, stored in an old school bus on his property.

He was convicted in 2008 and was due to report to prison Friday, his widow, Pam Sutton, told the Associated Press. Instead, facing the verdict and ill health, he was found dead by Ms. Sutton at the age of 62 on Monday, and authorities suspect carbon-monoxide poisoning, according to the AP. The Cocke County district attorney’s office said it is investigating the death.

Although Tennessee was once a hotbed of moonshine and federal “revenuers” pursued bootleggers through the hills, an attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville says he couldn’t remember the last federal prosecution of a moonshiner.

“Modern-day moonshining is the manufacture of methamphetamine,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg L. Sullivan says. “Tennessee is in the top five states nationally.”

Ms. Sutton discovered her husband in his green Ford Fairlane. “He called it his three-jug car,” she told the AP, “because he gave three jugs of liquor for it.”
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

It has been 20+ years but a friend of mine brought some bootleg shine on a ski trip. It was clear and looked like slightly viscous water. It was way higher than 180 proof it was approaching pure ethyl alcohol. The maker had added a couple of drops of butterscotch flavoring. It had a rich butterscotch flavor and that was all you tasted.

What was trippy is drinking it felt like how the pepto bismol commercials look. You took the shot and you felt the warmth go down your throat and wrap around your stomach as it came into contact. When it hit the bottom of your stomach all of a sudden it was like you were plugged into and outlet and you were tingling from head to toe. One shot was enough for me. It was good but too much.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

FWIW, here is a link to a picture of Popcorn Sutton's headstone. Be forewarned it is not safe for work. However, it does seem to fit the man.

http://lifeingaltsgulch.files.wordpr...orn_fu_540.jpg
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

It's legal in New Zealand.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

A lot of the old timer Portuguese immigrants in my childhood neighborhood made moonshine from strawberries. More a like a crude eau de vie, but did the trick. They would mix the ever clear with reduced strawberry juice to make a schnapps-like drink that is quite good.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

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It has been 20+ years but a friend of mine brought some bootleg shine on a ski trip. It was clear and looked like slightly viscous water. It was way higher than 180 proof it was approaching pure ethyl alcohol. The maker had added a couple of drops of butterscotch flavoring. It had a rich butterscotch flavor and that was all you tasted.
You sure it was higher than 180? That'd be 90% ethanol, at ~96% ethanol any further distillation is ineffective and you have to get more creative (read: complicated) to achieve higher purity.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: Bootleg Liquor: White Lightning and Popcorn Sutton

My small tribute to Popcorn Sutton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if3RtkCe1KY
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