How Clyde May’s Whiskey Became the Official Spirit of Alabama

By February 2, 2015 56 comments Permalink

Mr. Clyde May returned to his beloved Alabama from World War II with a Purple Heart and Medal of Valor. The decorated war hero also returned to making Alabama moonshine. In the woods southeast of the state capital of Montgomery, in the hills and hollows of the Conecuh Ridge, using fresh spring water, local grains, copper stills and charred oak barrels for aging, Clyde May made a small batch craft whiskey that quickly gained regional notoriety for exceptional quality. The addition of oven-dried apples and hints of cinnamon resulted in a distinct whiskey flavor known as “Alabama style” which only came from Clyde May’s backwoods barrels.

Unfortunately for Mr. May, making moonshine — even the high-quality stuff — is illegal in Alabama. And despite his whiskey’s popularity among the locals of Bullock County and many politicians in Montgomery, Mr. May was sentenced to 18-months in prison through the efforts of a zealous prosecutor. On the day of his release, in 1974, Mr May’s very cell was assumed by the same prosecutor for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. And on the day of his release, Mr. May returned to making moonshine in his hand-crafted small-batch fashion until his death in 1990.

Clyde May

In 2001, Clyde’s son Kenny decided to bring back his daddy’s recipe and began legally distilling the his father’s brand, being true to the same traditions. Shortly after, he began lobbying State Senators in Montgomery to make Clyde May’s the Official Spirit of the State of Alabama. A resolution passed the senate in 2003 only to be vetoed by the governor, but the beloved whiskey, with plenty of support in the halls of the capital, garnered enough support to overturn the governor’s veto. In 2004, the resolution was ratified and signed into law.

Later that same year, Kenny May was arrested for the illegal distribution of the state’s official spirit. He did not serve jail time, but he was barred from the manufacturing and sale of his father’s eponymous whiskey. The rights to the brand were bought and sold, with national production and distribution now in the hands of a Dallas-based company. Kenny, from time to time, represents his father’s brand at trade and whiskey shows.

RELATED: Bourbons for Every Occasion

Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Style Whiskey earned the Gold Medal at the WSWA Tasting Competition and the MicroLiquor Spirits Awards in 2012. That same year, Wine Enthusiast gave Alabama’s official state spirit a ranking of 93, calling it “A spry chameleon of a whiskey…from its distinct ripe apple and hazelnut notes…with surprising oomph on the finish.”

How to Drink Clyde May’s Whiskey

While most whiskey enthusiasts of Alabama recommend enjoy their whiskey sipped neat (maybe with a splash of water or a single ice cube), there are inventive ways to effectively incorporate the official spirit into cocktails indigenous to Alabama. Here, from famed Birmingham bartenders Steva Casey and Feizal Valli, are four cocktail recipes. 

The Kindness of Strangers

  • 1.5oz Clyde May’s
  • 1oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
  • 1oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 0.5oz Boiled Peanut Orgeat
  • 2 dashes coffee bitters
  • Lambrusco Float

Directions: Shaken. Served long.

Never Love a Wild Thing

  • 1oz Clyde May’s
  • 1oz Cynar
  • 1oz Dubonnet Rouge

Directions: Stirred. Served in glass on an ice sphere.

The Rickwood Classic

  • 1.5 oz Clyde May’s whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Cynar
  • 0.5 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum
  • 0.5 oz demera syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Flamed orange peel

Directions: Shaken. Served long.

The Bullock County Revival

  • 1.25 oz Clyde May’s whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Bonal
  • 0.75 fresh orange juice
  • 1 spoon homemade alabama apple jam
  • 2 dashes black walnut bitters

Directions: Stirred. Served in a glass on ice.

Published on Men’s Journal: How Clyde May’s Whiskey Became the Official Spirit of Alabama

56 responses to “How Clyde May’s Whiskey Became the Official Spirit of Alabama”

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a
    few pics to drive the message home a bit,
    but instead of that, this is great blog.

    A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  2. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality sites on the net.
    I most certainly will highly recommend this
    web site!

  3. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here it takes place.

  4. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community
    in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  5. g says:

    First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to
    ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind
    before writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

  6. g says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

  7. g says:

    I think that everything said made a lot of sense.
    However, consider this, suppose you added a little information? I am not saying your information is not solid.,
    however what if you added a headline to
    possibly get folk’s attention? I mean How Clyde
    May’s Whiskey Became the Official Spirit of Alabama | Andrew Cotto is
    kinda plain. You could look at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create news titles to get people interested.
    You might add a related video or a related picture or two to get readers excited about what you’ve got to say.

    Just my opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  8. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am
    impressed! Very helpful info specially the remaining phase 🙂 I care for such
    information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  9. g says:

    Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with
    your web site in internet explorer, could test this?
    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a big part of folks will miss
    your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  10. Excellent site you have here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  11. It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time
    and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like
    this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to
    your new updates.

  13. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God.

    Biblical prophecy tells us that this Jewish Messiah who will take the stage will be the antichrist “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). For a time he will bring about a false peace, but “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)…then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and why the Bible truly is the word of God!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! This is forever…God bless!


    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

    Jesus came to pay a debt that we could not; to be our legal justifier to reconcile us back to a Holy God; only if we are willing to receive Him: “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

    The oldest religion in the world is holiness through faith (James 1:27). What religion did Adam and Eve follow before the fall? Jesus, Who became the last Adam, what religion does He follow? Is He not holy? He never told us to follow the rituals and traditions of man but to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). There are many false doctrines being taught leading people astray. This is why we need the Holy Spirit for discernment. Unlike religion, holiness cannot be created. It is given to us from above by the baptism of the Spirit. Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal relationship with the Father. Start by reading the Gospel of Matthew, to hear the words of God, to know His character and commandments. Follow and obey Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life!

  14. Guqinz says:

    Thanks for your ideas. One thing we’ve noticed is that often banks along with financial institutions know the dimensions and spending habits of consumers as well as understand that most people max out and about their own credit cards around the holidays. They correctly take advantage of this kind of fact and then start flooding your own inbox along with snail-mail box with hundreds of 0 APR credit card offers soon after the holiday season closes. Knowing that in case you are like 98 in the American general public, you’ll hop at the possible opportunity to consolidate credit debt and transfer balances towards 0 interest rates credit cards.

  15. I loved as much as you will receive carried
    out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter
    stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness
    over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly
    again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case
    you shield this hike.

  16. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as
    yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  17. Thanks in support of sharing such a good opinion, article is fastidious,
    thats why i have read it entirely

  18. Franarrah says:

    Buy Propecia Finasteride Australia buy generic cialis online Dove Acquistare Cialis Forum Comprar Viagra Sin Receta Contrareembolso

  19. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing
    a blog article or vice-versa? My blog discusses
    a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each
    other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by
    the way!

  20. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    😉 Cheers!

  21. What’s up, all is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

  22. These are truly fantastic ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  23. Franarrah says:

    Nolvadex Forum Cytotec 200 Prix Canada Pills canadian cialis Zithromax Excipients Kamagra Quick Coupon Purchase Celebrex No Prescription

  24. If you desire to take much from this post then you have to apply these methods
    to your won website.

  25. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more
    of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  26. Franarrah says:

    Price Comparison Propecia Finasteride Generic Accutane Sale Canada Cialis 5 Ml buy cialis online Levitra Costo Confezione Amoxicillin Cap 500mg Dosage

  27. quest bars says:

    I always used to study piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of internet so from now I am using net for
    articles, thanks to web.

  28. Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my younger sister
    is analyzing these things, so I am going to convey her.

  29. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this information So i’m glad to exhibit that I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I most without a doubt will make certain to do not
    overlook this website and provides it a glance on a
    constant basis.

  30. Franarrah says:

    Viagra Pfeizer Sans Ordonnance Viagra Efectos En El Hombre isotretinoin with overnight delivery buy cialis 400mg Flagyl

  31. Erica Groman says:

    One other issue is that if you are in a situation where you would not have a cosigner then you may actually want to try to make use of all of your financial aid options. You will discover many grants or loans and other free college funding that will offer you finances to help you with institution expenses. Many thanks for the post.

  32. says:

    Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You have performed an incredible job.

    I’ll certainly digg it and for my part recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.

  33. Franarrah says:

    Legally Online Progesterone Visa Accepted Website C.O.D. Shipped Ups cialis for sale Viagra And Cialas For Aale Viagra Otras Pastillas

  34. This page seems like the other comment I found

  35. Franarrah says:

    Vente Cialis Prix viagra online Viagra 50mg Sale Cephalexin Online With Next Day Shipping

  36. This reminds me of the other info I saw

  37. What’s up mates, its wonderful piece of writing concerning educationand entirely defined,
    keep it up all the time.

  38. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a
    look. I’m definitely enjoying the information.
    I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Superb blog and fantastic design and style.

  39. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Bless you!

  40. I love what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve included you guys to our blogroll.

  41. Franarrah says:

    Doxycycline For Sale Online Difference Between Proscar Propecia generic viagra Propecia Ficha Tecnica Buy Valtrex Online With No Prescription

  42. Dreamwalker, this code is your next bit of info. Please transceive the agency at your convenience. No further information until next transmission. This is broadcast #5109. Do not delete.

  43. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything. However think of if
    you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this
    blog could undeniably be one of the very best in its field.
    Excellent blog!

  44. natalielise says:

    Hi there, yup this post is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it
    concerning blogging. thanks. natalielise pof

  45. Thankfulness to my father who stated to me concerning this
    website, this website is in fact awesome.

  46. Magnificent items from you, man. I have have in mind your
    stuff previous to and you’re just extremely great.
    I actually like what you’ve obtained right here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which by which
    you are saying it. You make it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to learn far more from you. That is really a tremendous website.

  47. says:

    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have
    any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Appreciate it plenty of fish natalielise

  48. Franarrah says:

    Levitra Generico Forum Online viagra Medrol Dose Pack No Prescription Fluoxetine Hcl No Prescription

  49. naturally like your website but you need to check the spelling on several
    of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I in finding it very bothersome to inform the reality then again I’ll certainly come again again.

  50. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
    using for this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  51. May I simply say what a comfort to find somebody that really knows what they’re talking about online.

    You certainly know how to bring a problem to light
    and make it important. A lot more people really need to look
    at this and understand this side of your story. I can’t
    believe you’re not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  52. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning
    this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me
    to get my own, personal blog now 😉 plenty of fish

  53. Jack says:

    I reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

  54. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you,
    However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?

  55. Hello everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit
    at this website, and paragraph is genuinely fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these types of posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *