Unlabeled bottle of white dog
What The Term 'White Dog' Refers To When It Comes To Whiskey
Also known as white lightning, white whiskey, or moonshine, white dog is a whiskey that has not been aged. It’s bottled straight from the still and is sometimes diluted with water.
Drinking white dog was more common post-Prohibition, as it could be produced quickly. Its popularity resurged after a decline when distillers recently started selling it again.
White dog lacks the refinement, color, and flavor barrel aging yields. Aged whiskey can be anything from fruity or sweet to smoky and spicy, but white dog lacks such nuance.
Individual brands may vary in taste, but you can expect flavors to predominantly reflect the grain used in production. Its alcohol content is quite similar to that of aged whiskey.
For some distillers, the reason behind producing white dog has to do with nostalgia, as it gained popularity as a trend a little over a decade ago. For others, it's about revenue.
While new distillers often produce gin or vodka to generate income as they wait for their whiskey to age, some make and sell white dog due to the amount of time barrel aging takes.
You can drink white dog straight, over ice, incorporate it into a party punch, or swap it into classic cocktails where you'd typically use other kinds of whiskey, gin, or vodka.