Its Rated XXX!

Published by Broadslab Distillery

Remember classic cartoons and caricatures of an old gallon crock jug with a cork on top and the symbol “XXX” on its side? Ever wonder about what it meant? Well we did too—so we did some research and came up with a hypothesis—and some very interesting facts!

“X’s” typically meant, “Do not touch!” We know that back in the times of crock jugs that stored moonshine (before mason jars), that there were certain “dangers” surrounding moonshine and the making of it. There was a fire danger because the moonshiners were vaporizing ethanol, which was extremely flammable. Then there were old-timers during prohibition that said moonshine could cause possible blindness because distillers would use rubbing alcohol to make it more potent. Rubbing alcohol was cheap, but it was laced with methanol and that was believed to cause blindness. Lastly, lead poisoning was a very real concern with those early illicit stills, as moonshiners would use old car and tractor radiators made with lead solder as condensers, therefore putting lead into the final product. Lead? Methanol? Fire? Three real dangers that warranted a XXX—“Don’t touch!” on ANY old moonshine jug!

But then we found the REAL answer. So here goes—

Early moonshiners used very simple pot stills made up of a boiler and a condenser. It was an effective way to distill, but they didn’t get pure alcohol when they ran a batch the first time. In fact, it had very little alcohol content and tasted horrible. To get a better-tasting, higher alcohol content product, they ran the first batch back through the still to raise the alcohol content and eliminate the sour taste from the mash. By the time the moonshine was run through the still a third time, it was close to being pure alcohol; above 80% ABV—and ready-to-drink. So therefore, the three “X’s” marked on the front of a moonshine jug was to indicate the number of times it had been run through the still—and that it was almost pure alcohol—thus the infamous moonshine!

At Broadslab, we don’t run our mash three times or put our whiskey in clay jars marked with a XXX (thank goodness!) But we do want you to be confident that we distill our Premium whiskies to the highest standards possible, in a clean, methane-free environment. Producing the smooth whiskies we make is a result of our generations of experience—and so therefore you’ll never see XXX on our bottles!

Our sources: 





Please enjoy responsibly. 
If you break the seal, don’t get behind the wheel.

Broadslab Distillery produces natural, hand-crafted moonshine, whiskey and rum in Benson, NC. 
The American-made spirits are gluten-free and made without the use of anything artificial. It’s the real deal.