Simply Superb. The epitome of our Southern Style. Painstakingly created by collecting only the best quality New Zealand honey, blended and re-blended with our purest New Zealand spirit, aged and flavoured with wood (including Manuka) from within the bush and beautiful Matakana Moon Pristine Mineral Water.
Smooth with just a hint of sweetness. Straight or on the rocks, with Cola, or Lemonade, or even Ginger Beer. You've gotta try some. It's not Bourbon, it's Southern.
Good whiskeys are hard to come by, so when given the chance to try out Matakana Moonshine I was really excited. There were so many things I wanted to try; straight, in fudge, as a marinade. So I could not wait for it to arrive. And when it did I opened it up straight away. I loved the smell immediately, sweet (honey maybe?) yet not a strong over powering alcohol smell that you are to scared to try it lol which of course made it easy to try a nip full. I also liked the bottle label: simple yet refined, just like us kiwis I guess :)
I like it! I poured my nip glass and tried a wee sample, almost like I was taste testing wine haha its lovely, sweet yet strong. I finished the nip glass and was pleasantly surprised that it did not burn and make me do the one legged funky chicken dance (although I'm sure with the right crowd, good music and a few more of these in me and the funky chicken dance might just happen for fun).
Next I tried it in a marinade on same lamb...again another hit! This moonshine gave the lamb a really yum flavour, it would be a fantastic edition beside any bbq, or at least on the picnic table. Its divine. Lastly I tried making fudge. Unfortunately I think I did something wrong. I found a whiskey fudge online and used that recipe but the fudge did not set :( However it was a wonderful thick, full of flavour fudge sauce that was gorgeous on ice-cream. Even though it did not set as a fudge lolly my mum, who does not like whiskey (in fact she does not like any alcohol and does not drink) was more than happy to sit and eat it with a spoon out of the container. Her spoonable fudge she called it lol
Hubby also tried it as a drink, and said it reminded him very much of Hokonui Moonshine, illegally brewed in the Hokonui Hills out by Gore, many moons ago. However he had a reaction to the Hokonui Moonshine they make legally now, and as this reminded him of that he was quite dubious about trying too much. He did like it very much, just did not want to drink a lot of it.
I am a bit of a bourbon and coke fan so was keen to try this Matakana Moonshine out. I like my alcohol in a glass so except for Christmas don't really use alcohol in my baking so I only tried this as a drink aside from using some in a marinade for steak.
The steak marinade was nice and certainly made a difference to the steak. Hubby commented on how nice the steak was but he couldn't identify the flavour. My first glass of the Moonshine was straight whilst cooking dinner and it immediately reminded me of my student days drinking Southern Comfort. That said I then had this with lemonade and ice and it is very, very drinkable. I also liked it with coca cola but my preference is probably either straight or with lemonade.
This is definitely a nice drop and I like that it is New Zealand made. It is a very warming drink so perfect for winter. I think this will probably taste nice in Christmas truffles so am keen to try it in some baking at Christmas time if the bottle lasts that is! Definitely worth a try if you like Southern Comfort or Bourbons.
I have been a bourbon drinker longer than I care to admit. In that time I have tried many bourbons and whiskeys across the width and depth of the price and quality spectrum. Bourbon, some may not be aware, is a variety of whiskey that is only made in America, usually Kentucky. There are a bunch of legal restrictions that prevent anything made anywhere else from being called "Bourbon" (the same sort of hoo-haa as "Champagne" went through a while back), which is why this is a "southern-style whiskey" despite having all the hallmark taste of Bourbon, but with a Kiwi twist thrown in too. (That'll be the NZ honey, if you didn't guess.)
The benchmark for me, when it comes to whiskey/bourbon, is one sip neat, followed by a B&C mixer to set proportions. I even have a set of glasses specifically for this process, marked out where the bourbon stops and the cola starts. To make it a fair test, I used a popular brand cola in one glass, a budget cola in a second, and a Sodastream Premium Cola in a third. I then did a self-administered blind taste test on all three. (I got my son to shuffle the glasses while I left the room briefly. Each glass was marked with which cola used, but I had my eyes shut until all three had been sampled.)
The end result was quite surprising for me. I would have bet that after over a decade of only drinking my whiskey with a big-name cola, that I would have instantly locked on to that one as my favourite. This is true of every other bourbon-style spirit I have tried. but this time was different. The added sweetness of this brew, given by the added honey I surmise, changed the taste enough that the slightly less sweet Sodastream Cola was a far better match for my tastes.
Wanting to do something a little more adventurous, I dug around online until I found a recipe that appealed - Bourbon Beans. Basically, a more robust and hearty "baked beans" recipe that included onions, garlic, capsicum, bourbon, and a bunch of other herbs and spices. Much to my family's disgust, I quite like baked beans, so this was one I was going to give a go... and what a wonderful result! The only thing better than the smells coming out of the cooker was the taste of the finished article... though I admit I did a very male thing and tweaked the recipe a bit - more bacon, more garlic and a little less of the Billington's Molasses. (I don't like the beans to be too sweet.)
Overall, this is a drink I plan to keep in mind for "special occasions" because though the price is well within the "average" bracket for a litre of bourbon or whiskey, the taste is something quite amazing and I wouldn't want to use it up casually. Find it in retail outlets around the country - there's a list of stockists on the Matakana Moonshine website - or order it direct through the site. Either way, this is a drop well worth exploring if you enjoy a good glass of the "Water of Life". Oh! Don't be put off by the sediment - that's the honey solids. Give the bottle a quick tip a few times and you'll never know it was there.
I must admit when the call came out for reviewers for this I was excited as a kid in a toy shop to try it. I love a good whiskey and cola and with the weather getting colder it is definitely an enjoyable drink to have when the kids are in bed.
When the bottle arrived I was impressed the packaging is really appealing with the basic label and picture. It looks really old fashioned which I really liked and I love the art about it being 100% New Zealand made. It was cool how you could see the honey in the bottom of the bottle when it sat for a while and the honey settled on the bottom. The bottle is a good size for the money you are paying too so it is really good value for money as just having a couple of drinks at night every now and then it will take me a while to get through the bottle.
I had just finished a bottle of Bundaberg Rum which was 57% alcohol so when I had a sniff and a little nip of this I didn't think it was very strong. It didn't leave a burn at the back of your throat when you had a straight sip it was actually really smooth and would be easy to drink straight if you are into that kind of thing. I had mine with coke which I really enjoyed it was nice and sweet so easy drinking and almost too easy to get through a glass probably quicker than you should.
I also used the Moonshine in some baking, making a rich fruit cake. The recipe I used traditionally uses brandy or rum but it was really nice with the whiskey in it and gave the cake a nice rich taste. To glaze the top of the cake I made a mix of apricot jam and more moonshine and that made the cake really good as the glaze has a definite kick to the taste. So even a drink your nana could use in her Christmas baking I really liked it and am continuing to enjoy a nice drink at night when I get a chance a big thumbs up from me.
I like a good whiskey, and so when the call for this came out to give the Matakana Moonshine whiskey a taste I put my hand up for a bottle. My first impression of it was a good one. The packaging is your pretty standard 1 litre glass bottle. The labelling really matches the colour of the whiskey wonderfully, and of course my favourite part, the little kiwi saying this is New Zealand made.
The first test for this was to try it straight. When I asked my mum if she wanted to try some as well, and got a very keen yes, she warned me that most whiskeys you need to sip slowly on (if drinking straight) otherwise you could end up in a coughing fit. My mum was very VERY pleasantly surprised when there was no harshness to the whiskey. With a faint taste of honey, making this a sweet whiskey, this is very nice straight up in a shot glass.
The second test, the way we usually drink whiskey, mixed with cola. Usually when I have a whiskey and cola I find that the whiskey overpowers the cola to such an extent that there is no real cola taste left. Not the case with the Matakana Moonshine. This whiskey added to the cola instead of taking away from it, making me think of a cola honey drink (with a dash of alcohol). We also tried this with blackcurrant fizzy, and whilst not as nice it still had a great flavour.
My last test was with fudge. I added some at the very end of my cooking, and whilst it turned out as a very very gooey fudge it still added a great flavour to the fudge which left me wishing that I had made more.
I really liked this whiskey and whilst $45 is above my usual price range, if I have the extra money then I would buy this again.
When the call went out for reviewers, they mentioned whiskey and so I put my name down. My husband loves a good whiskey, and while I don't, I knew I'd be able to do something flash in the kitchen with it. However, when I was given the bottle I realised this was going to be closer to a bourbon style, than a scotch. My husband had a taste of this on the rocks. He thought it tasted quite similar to Southern Comfort. Unfortunately, he has had a bad experience with that particular drink which lead to him not really enjoying this.
I on the other hand, love Southern Comfort and when I had a glass of this with Lemonade out of my soda stream, I got exactly what my husband meant. This was delicious and gave the lemonade that same silky honeyed jelly bean flavour I love in that other drink. I also tried this as a shot with half Matakana Moonshine and half full cream. It curdled a little, but the taste was delicious. The cream tasted great with the smoothness of the Moonshine and the sweet of the honey.
I did a little baking with the moonshine as well. I firstly made a fudgy sauce with it, brown sugar and butter. It was really easy to make, and I used it on some pancakes. It was delicious and boozy. Then I made some chocolate cupcakes and then used the moonshine in the icing along with the orange flavacol from GoBake. Again, this was a great flavour combination and gave the icing a little kick. They made a fun dessert, once kids were in bed. I personally love the flavour of this Matakana Moonshine and so it's not going to go to waste. My husband didn't like it, but I think like all things some spirits are personal taste and experience!
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