Review: Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine and Peach Brandy

Review: Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine and Peach Brandy

Built atop the underground distilling and bootlegging operation of the gangster Dutch Schultz (and on family land now owned by co-founder Alex Adams), Dutch’s Spirits is a new New York-based distillery that’s attacking the spirits industry with some unexpected products — no gin or whiskey here, be warned!

We tasted Dutch’s two inaugural spirits. Thoughts on each follow.

Both are 80 proof.

Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine – This white spirit is a tribute to Schultz’s “own hooch,” a white spirit distilled from 100% Demerara sugar in copper pot stills. I wasn’t entirely sure how to classify this oddity, since it’s technically a rum (and a rhum agricole or cachaca at that) but isn’t branded as such. It is closest in style to a Puerto Rico-style white rum, with smoothed-over flavors of vanilla and a touch of chocolate to it. There’s none, however, of those gasoline flavors or raw alcohol notes you get with most cachaca and none of the burning heat of the typical corn-based moonshine. Moderate body with a lightly floral and herbal finish. The name may be a bit baffling, but the results are impressive if you’re a rum fan and are looking for something unique. A / $28 

Dutch’s Spirits Peach Brandy – Americans are simply not drinking enough peach brandy. It’s a fact. I’m not sure that Dutch’s version of it is going to change that. While the nose offers lots of fresh fruit flavors — more apricot and apple than peach — the body is not nearly sweet enough to carry the day. Deeply bitter, the fruit notes are washed under the base alcohol’s astringency, though you can tell there are some deep and lush fruit flavors and brown sugar-sweetness just dying to get out. Much better as a cocktail flavoring agent (in small quantities) than on its own. C / $42

Dutch's Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Edoc on May 10, 2012 at 5:07 am

    It wouldn’t be a rhum agricole, of that I’m pretty certain. That style requires distilling from fresh cane juice.

  2. DJ HawaiianShirt on May 10, 2012 at 6:08 am

    The US doesn’t drink enough peach brandy because it’s hard to find any “peach brandy” that’s not a neutral spirit-based liqueur that’s sweetened and artificially flavored.

    Yeah, I think that sugar “moonshine” is still technically a rum. If I’m not mistaken, Ron Zacapa (and perhaps a few others) uses (unwashed) sugar instead of the traditional molasses.

  3. Ariel Schlein on May 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the reviews Drinkhacker! To clarify a bit, our Sugar Wash Moonshine is technically a Cane Neutral Spirit (and is labeled as such). The distinction from rum is that it is distilled up to 190 proof (“neutral”) before being diluted back down to 80 proof for bottling. The flavors that come through are a result of our base (pure demerara sugar), yeast selection and fermentation and filtration protocols.

    To echo DJ’s sentiment, our peach brandy is distilled from a 100% peach mash, with no added sugar, color, or flavoring, then aged in a combination of toasted and charred American oak barrels. It is a traditional farmhouse style of distillation which was largely abandoned with the advent of Prohibition.

    Thanks again for your reviews, and to your readers for their insights.

    Ariel Schlein
    Co-Founder, Dutch’s Spirits

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