A premium spirit like Belle Isle isn’t just made, it’s painstakingly created with eyes equally focused on quality and taste. Whether we are making our 80 proof Premium Moonshine, infusing it with our Honey Habanero, or kicking it up a notch with Belle Isle 100, every batch starts with a 100% organic, corn-spirit base that also happens to be gluten free. By sticking with a traditional moonshine mash bill, and using corn, rather than sugar, wheat, or rye, we’re able to capture a sweetness on the nose that continues through the palate – all the way to the finish.
Our base, before it is filtered, starts at a higher proof than most moonshines. It’s void of that grainy, overpowering character typical of most spirits in the category, but is certainly not odorless and tasteless – characteristics you’d associate with most vodkas. To that point, it plays exceptionally well in vodka-based cocktails, adding greater depth to your martini. But it doesn’t get lost in whiskey-based cocktails, such as an old fashioned, as most clear spirits tend to do.
From that higher proof, we’ll take the spirit down a notch by finishing it with filtered, carbon-treated Richmond Water. We won’t finish it to bottle proof, as additional treating takes place before it hits the bottle. Both our 80 proof and 100 proof have very similar processes, but each is treated at different proofs along the way to ensure the highest quality product.
The Making of Honey Hab
A Gregg Brooks infusion, from our 2014 Moonshine Book, was the inspiration for our first infused spirit. Gregg is currently a cocktail wizard at Comfort in Richmond VA, and has recently joined the team at Belle Isle. Our Honey Habanero infused moonshine begins where our 80 proof ends. We infuse our base spirit with real honey and organic habaneros sourced from Ellwood Thompson’s in Richmond, VA. Rather than use an agitator or centrifuge, we stir the components by circulating them through our impeller pump numerous times. We allow the habaneros to play around for a few days before we remove from the finishing tanks. These habaneros are allowed to settle in separate bins, and the juices that accumulate make an intensely hot habanero tincture that will light your taste buds on fire. A few in the Richmond bartender community have already experienced its wrath. The honey enjoys its swim for a little longer until it finds its way to the bottom of the tank. This allows us to pull the finished spirit off the top and get it into bottles.
Our bottles are sourced from a local distributor, then corked, strapped, capped and thrown in a 6-pack box, taped up, and sent out the door for your enjoyment. Want to see this process first hand? Stay tuned for information on bottling parties at our Maury Street distillery.
Our 80 proof Belle Isle and Honey Habanero are available at over 100 ABC stores throughout the state, while our new product, Belle 100, has debuted as a special order item. Check our website, as 100 is available on a handful of shelves in the commonwealth. Southern Wine and Spirits distributes our product in Virginia and West Virginia, with Country Vintner currently representing Belle Isle in DC, Maryland, Delaware, South Carolina, and Florida.
What should we come out with next? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Drink a smoother spirit. Be Premium.
The Belle Isle Crew