“A gallon of whiskey [bore] … $11 tax. You could make it for 75 cents to a dollar and sell it for $3 or $4. . . . It’s the same way today if you beat the government out of taxes. It’s what everyone was trying to do back then.” Junior Johnson, quoted in Peter Golenbock, American Zoom (MacMillan, New York, 1993), page 22.
The federal liquor tax from 1951 to 1985 was $10.50 per proof gallon. It’s $13.50 today, but with inflation, the tax burden is much less now.