Moonshine is a term that many say comes from the illegal production and or transportation of spirits that often took place at night. It is a tradition that farmers have carried out since farmers have had surplus grain. Moonshine is a reason to not pay taxes, start racing stock cars and even fight the government.
Despite recent rumblings that the TTB will acknowledge something like moonshine as a category, it is currently just “any distilled spirit” that is filed with the TTB as a specialty spirit.
Moonshine is not necessarily a white whiskey. What you see in stores can quite literally be anything. Most of it is high proof NGS or cane spirit with water added and packaged in some faux redneck mason jar package perfect for your bullshit faux pinterest wedding. Some moonshine, likely 1 in a thousand bottles, is a distilled product by an artisan that just doesn’t fit within a spirits category, for example, it could be an un-aged whiskey of an oddball mash bill. But this product is really moonshine is spirit only.
I highly recommend buying illegal spirits from illicit distillers. Of all the felonies, moonshine is the most delicious. However, stuff that says moonshine, infused with cherries, purchased in a grocery store is as much moonshine as Starbucks is methamphetamine.