Once called a “moonshiners paradise”, the Tennessee wilderness has a long history of craft distilling. The Great Smoky Mountains have been home to whiskey-makers and moonshiners for hundreds of years and that spirit lives on in Gatlinburg. Enjoy tastings and behind-the-scenes tours that celebrate the quality Tennessee is known for.
Sugarlands Distilling Company
Located in downtown Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Distilling produces premium whiskey and award-winning moonshines. In addition to free daily tours, which are open to all ages, Sugarlands Distilling also offers some more exclusive options.
Premium tours allow extra attention-to-detail to create an intimate experience or a planned celebration for special occasions. There is a Blended Sampling Tour that will allow your party to participate in a tasty cocktail making session, as well as a private tour of the distillery. The Distiller’s Workshop package provides a hands-on distilling experience and gets you a fill of your own jar of moonshine to take with you. Sugarland’s Distiller for the Day Workshop grants a day spent making moonshine from start to finish with the head distiller. Premium tours can be booked through their website.
While they keep seasonal hours, their summer hours begin at the end of February, allowing ample time to complete a tour, enjoy live music events, and of course, sample their authentic moonshine.
Ole Smoky Distillery
Tennessee’s first legal moonshine distillery, Ole Smoky celebrates a rich history of crafting a centuries-old family recipe. Ranking among the United State’s most visited distilleries, Ole Smoky is located on Gatlinburg’s Parkway.
Besides moonshine, Ole Smoky produces authentic American Whiskey, aged in White Oak barrels. Their straight whiskey delivers a strong and bold flavor, true to Tennesee tradition. However, an array of flavored and blended varieties, such as their Mango Habanero or Tennessee Mud, offer choices that will appeal to a range of tastes.
Featuring authentic copper stills, their family-friendly distillery tours will take you through the process from beginning to end. You can also treat yourself to a sampling at the end of the tour. While the tours are self-guided, distillers are usually on hand to answer questions.
Ole Smoky offers a host of seasonally scheduled events and has an on-site bottle shop offering an assortment of varieties to take home with you as well as other retail souvenirs.
Doc Collier Moonshine Distillery
At Doc Collier, located in downtown Gatlinburg, legal-aged customers can stop by and sample many of the unique moonshine flavors, such as their Moonshine Brandy. Their smooth spirits are produced using local English Mountain Spring Water. Guests are also invited to take a peek at some of their on-site equipment and operations while visiting.
Set up to evoke the nostalgic past of an old-time mercantile, the Doc’s Shine Shop offers gifts and merchandise to commemorate your Gatlinburg experience. Their current tasting list can be located on their website.
Tennessee’s craft distilling scene is flourishing, and yet still emerging, allowing a steady source of new moonshine and spirit discoveries to be made.