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Moonshining mama dizzy from her success

Moonshining Mama Dizzy From Her Success

When Troy Ball and her family moved from Texas to North Carolina, she had no idea she'd be getting into the moonshine business.

CBS reports Ball's two oldest sons have a rare, undiagnosed metabolic disorders. Doctors said the long pollen season in Texas would leave them constantly fighting allergies that could turn into pneumonia. So they moved to the clean, crisp air of the Appalachian mountains.

'When you buy land in the mountains and you get to know the locals, if they like you they bring you moonshine.'

Fortunately for Ball, the locals really, really liked her, welcoming her into their homes and showing her how they make their infamous "Mountain Dew." Here's YouTube:

'They took me under their wings. And let me experience making whiskey up in the mountains at their stills.'

She now owns and operates Troy & Sons, one of only four U.S. distilleries owned by women. The moonshining mama recently appeared on the "Today" show to tell her story.

NBC says: 'Troy believed if she could overcome the myriad obstacles to keeping her sons healthy, she could probably do almost anything.' FLASH 'This is my way of honoring them and making a statement about our life.'

So is this whole thing legal? Well... yes and no. Many state laws differ from what the feds say.

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau says, 'You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval. ... There are numerous requirements that must be met that also make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use.'

However, Time says some states are loosening their laws, including Tennessee where it's legal to make your own moonshine.

And the topic has caught so many people's attention - there's even a TV show about it - appropriately named "Moonshiners."

So, drink up! Or, maybe not ... that would be, ya know, possibly illegal.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
drb107 May 02 2014 at 10:15 AM

They sell her moonshine in State ABC stores, I tried it, its ok.

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1 reply
kingsway drb107 May 02 2014 at 2:14 PM

Of course....but it is fun to make SHINE..........I made it years ago in my kitchen....

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vinkbear May 02 2014 at 2:28 PM

The story is misleading. It appears that she obtained the proper permits to open her distillery, since most backwoods operations don't have custom printed labels and a fancy bottleing machine.

Moonshine is just raw distilled alcohol that hasn't been through the aging process, usually in wood barrels, that whiskey and bourbon has. Made correctly, it's not any more dangerous than either of those two drinks. Taste- well, that's up to the individual. Some love it, some would rather clean engine parts with it.

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1 reply
Lenny vinkbear May 02 2014 at 3:43 PM

Had it a few times down south, very smooth.

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davidhken May 02 2014 at 11:55 AM

The Feds need to worry about much more important things than moonshine. They pick and choose which laws to enforce so why bother someone like Troy? The Feds need to stay out of things that are best left to the states to control.

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1 reply
krivitsky davidhken May 02 2014 at 12:43 PM

The feds collect tax on the booze and make sure the products are properly labeled and meet standards of identity. So when you pay for straight whisky or bourbon it is what you pay for.

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jhawkn May 02 2014 at 11:07 AM

I Know Troy and she is a legal whiskey maker. In trying to put an editorial twist and add interest to their story Fox has tried to create controversy by interjecting that perhaps Troy is making moonshine illegally. She is using some old moonshiner expertise to make a LEGAL version of old illegal non taxed and unregulated whiskey. Troy makes Great whiskey particularly a version called Blond. I resent that the News people responsible for creating this story would couch their version of her inspirational story in any way to reflect poorly upon Troy and her fine operation and family.

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5 replies
carlahawkn May 02 2014 at 10:53 AM

I know Troy Ball. She is a caring person of high integrity. Her business is completely legal and product is sold in liquor stores. The reporter's presentation implies that there is a question as to the legality of her production. There is no question. Her product is of very high quality and legal in NC.

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isrm May 02 2014 at 9:33 AM

This is just another example of Federal laws & state laws conflicting. Pot in Colorado, immigration laws in many states, Moon Shine down south. Not passing judgement on which side is right, but the law should be the same federally & statewide. If the laws need to be amendd, do so, but how can you have a federa law, & then have the states thumb thei no at it?

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3 replies
porterscottages May 02 2014 at 8:58 AM

illegal----?? funny, the gov just wants a cut if the profit. it's all about the cash-plain and simple.

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hattie54 May 02 2014 at 8:53 AM

I've traveled in the NC Smokies.not as much moonshine is made as during the old days.As they say,you can get likker really cheap now at the ABC store.

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1 reply
m.g.c.d hattie54 May 02 2014 at 12:45 PM

"likker" is spelled "liquor". Just because you travelled in the NC Smokies doesn't mean you know squat about it. Most moonshiners keep themselves well hidden from tourists and drive-throughs who think they know so much.

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2 replies
tlmorgan45502 m.g.c.d May 02 2014 at 1:01 PM

I did live in the mountains of NC for a time and yes I knew alot of folks yes moonshine is not as popular as it was but some mostly older folks still like it, the younger ones seem to prefer store bought. As for me I have had it dont care for it but I am a beer drinker. I dont drink whiskey of any kind just pass me a beer.

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yayabeanes m.g.c.d May 02 2014 at 1:48 PM

Some do say lik-ker. Or lick-her for liquor. If one is known as the hoity toity type. Then you have your lick-quer . And no, it's not ebonics.

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gserlin May 02 2014 at 8:51 AM

Give me a break. This is a case of good old American ingenuity. The family adapted to the situation and made the best of it. They are to be commended.

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1 reply
yayabeanes gserlin May 02 2014 at 1:50 PM

Don't know about anyone else, but one sure fire way I can see if someone is doing well is by their kitchen.

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GUNSLINGER May 02 2014 at 8:50 AM

Meg needs to take a sip of Moonshine and take off her shirt!!!!!

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