Lantern Light “Rye” Moonshine

  • Rating: 9
  • Value: 8

An excellent rye white whiskey, and a great Samogon type spirit also for those of you looking for a lot more flavor in a white spirits that is not corn based.

Notes: Honeoye Falls Distillery is one of the newer distilleries in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area. Located about 30 minutes south of Rochester it is nestled in the hill and drumlins of the Finger Lakes area and draws its water from the nearby Finger Lakes of Canadice and Hemlock Lakes ( both of whom are water supplies also for the city of Rochester and known for the taste ad purity of their water.They use a second generation ( as I call it as significant improvements have been made over the first models) Artisan Still Works stainless steel steam fired still with a column and copper inserts. This is their  unaged rye spirit called Lantern Light Rye Moonshine,made with the same grain mash bill as their vodka but brought off at a lower proof to preserve the flavors and characteristics to a greater degree than the Frozen Falls Vodka . They also produce a gin called Devils Bathtub Gin, an aged rye by the name of Red Saw Rye and an extremely limited release Bourbon .

Notes: The rye is made from 85% very locally grown rye and 15% of the mash bill is a 6 row malted barley from Pioneer Malting, our local Maltster.

Appearance: Silvery, sap like appearance showing off a lovely grain body, clear as a bell and on swirly delivers a nicely thick coating on the glass which slowly flows back into some tears along the edge line,followed by larger droplets than what we see with their more highly distilled vodka (which makes perfect sense of course- a lower proof distilled product should display more body and deliver more taste. A hopeful sign !


First Impression: Very spicy rye bouquet with a well-integrated grain alcohol note backing it up rather than as in many cases in the foreground . Another very positive note is that there are no off smells, a carefully done and clean distillation. Too many times in a young spirit you can smell traces of bacterial funk, nothing like that here.

Taste: Oily, grain germ/proteinaceous entry is a very hopeful start, with a sweet/sour pepperlike signature rye bloom buffered by a superior rye grain body. This is practically rye bread in a glass. The alcohol keeps it from getting too heavy and provides a nice warmth.Nicely long fade/finish with slight warming and drying makes you look forward to the next sip. Delicious

Drinks: Makes for a much more flavorful substitute for vodka in any vodka cocktail and an interesting twist on a cachaca or tequila cocktail , adding  drier grain notes with the rye sweet/sour pepper to add some very interesting possibilities for the open-minded.

Bottle : A somewhat modified clear glass jug complete with (small) thumb hole but with a heavier decanter bottom to it than a cheaper model, and even has the traditional cylinder to rinse rounded shoulder you see on the clay variety of jugs. On the other hand this makes the bottle somewhat of a challenge in a bar because it is harder to get a grip on it, unless you turn it backwards where customers can’t see the label ( Maybe reverse the orientation for bar bottles guys ?)

Large paper label of rather rustic graphics on the front and their story and usual graphics on the back. Closure is a thin black plastic neck capsule with a tear off strip (thankfully – those that don’t usually involve using sharp objects to get them open). Somewhat large one piece synthetic cork.

Other: This is also the base for their Red Saw Rye , a barrel aged rye

Final Thoughts: A very nicely distilled white rye whiskey which packs a lot of flavor for a modest price.


A well laid out and fast loading site with easy navigation and a fair amount of information. It needs updating in a few places but is a well done site overall if a bit minimal compared to some

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