- At the suggestion of a fellow distiller, I bought a copy of Mountain Spirits by Joseph Debney. Got at Amazon.com for $15.00. For those interested in how the moonshining business got started in America this is a very interesting little book. Did you know that one of the reasons the Irish left Irland was because of the tax on whiskey and they came to America where they could make all the whiskey thay wanted tax-free? The Kings first taxed alcohol to pay for their wars. Nothing has changed - we still love tax free booze.