You may have heard whiskeyphiles referring to the latest “white dog” or “moonshine” whiskeys. For decades they were illegally made and sold, mostly in the South, until some enterprising distilleries got into the act in recent years and got them into legitimate bars and liquor stores. There are two big differences between white dogs and traditional whiskeys—age and color. Standard brown whiskey gets its color from the wooden barrels in which it’s aged (anywhere from a couple of years for younger bourbons to decades for older single malt Scotches). White dog is not aged, hence its clear or “white” color. It tastes a lot different, too. Most white dog/moonshine is un-aged corn liquor (bourbon), and without the wood to temper and mellow the flavors, the corn is much more up front than with typical bourbons. The more you know about aged whiskey, the more interesting white dogs are to try, but they’re best as a change of pace. So don’t go trying to impress your girl by ordering her a white dog Manhattan or some such.