The new Kentucky Mist Distillery has finally gotten approval to start selling some of its flavored alcoholic beverages.
The distillery, located in downtown Whitesburg in the historic Kyva Motor Company garage building, began selling its peach, blackberry, berry, strawberry and apple pie flavored spirits Wednesday afternoon, one day after the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved the labels that tell the contents and proof of the distilled spirits.
“It’s been rough, but we’re getting close,” Kentucky Mist co-owner Colin Fultz said. “We’ve been working on getting the labels approved four or five months.”
Kentucky Mist was able to begin selling its “Corn Mist,” a 100-proof clear moonshine, at its grand opening on September 23 but was forced to turn away a large number of wouldbe buyers of the flavored spirits who toured the distillery during the annual Mountain Heritage Festival.
The flavored spirits will be sold under the “Mist” label and are distilled using sugarcane mash rather than corn mash and are more similar to white rum than moonshine. The peach, blackberry and strawberry liquors are 80-proof, while the apple pie beverage is 50-proof.
While Kentucky Mist still awaits the TTB’s approval of labels for its lemonade, grape and cherry spirits, it is has also submitted for federal approval its recipe for a caramel apple-flavored beverage. The grape and cherry drinks will also be 80-proof. The lemonade and caramel apple liquors will be 50-proof.
Although the liquor industry is known for its high level of government regulation and oversight, some people still may find it surprising that Kentucky Mist can’t simply bottle the spirits it distills, put labels on the bottles and display them for sale. Instead, the distillery has to sell its products to a Kentucky-licensed whiskey wholesaler, and then buy the products back from the wholesaler to sell here.
The TTB says the alcohol labels submitted by Kentucky Mist are among 100,000 such labels and advertisements it reviews each year “to verify that they provide adequate information to the consumer concerning the identity and quality of each alcohol beverage and to make certain that they do not mislead consumers.”