If you don’t know Jack and want to know Shine, this post is for you! If you head down to the Smokies, take a moonshine tour while you’re there, and sample all the different flavors and varieties each distillery offers. Here is a personal tour of Ole Smoky Moonshine and Sugarlands Distilling Company. Tours will last about 30 minutes. Each has their own unique take on moonshine, but they both take tastings seriously. If it is in the cup, you drink it (or as Sugarlands would say, “it goes in your gut!”). No wasting moonshine!
Ole Smoky Moonshine
With two locations to choose from—Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge—Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is a great starting point for a moonshine tasting tour. The Barrelhouse in Gatlinburg was formerly Davy Crockett Whisky and is now home to Ole Smoky Whiskey. The Holler in Gatlinburg, TN, is a much larger location and is Ole Smoky’s flagship store.
Show your ID to the shine server and get paired with other visitors to start the tour. The server will start with the stronger proof moonshine and work their way into lighter and sweeter moonshine. You can mix most moonshine with other drinks. Experimentation is half the fun!
Blue Flame – 128 proof
This moonshine will knock your socks off! The electric blue “Blue Flame” is the strongest moonshine Ole Smoky sells, which is apparent as it burns through your nose. If you want to mix it up, check out some of the mix recipes on the Ole Smoky Moonshine website.
Blackberry – 40 proof
This will taste like grape juice after you try the Blue Flame moonshine. It has a very sweet flavor. If you buy it and take it home, it’s drinkable straight from the jar without being chilled. It’s one of the flavors that is distributed well through the states.
Huckleberry – 40 proof
Blended with southern Muscadine grapes and raspberries, you’ll find this isn’t quite as sweet as Blackberry but has a very nice finish. It’s very mellow on the tail.
Hunch Punch Lightnin’ – 80 proof
This moonshine is a mix of orange, pineapple, and cherry juices with a little kick, which burns through the nose on the tail.
Apple Pie – 70 proof
Apple Pie is their signature moonshine. It’s the easiest to find if your area sells Ole Smoky. It tastes like a real hard cider.
Pina Colada – 40 proof
The coconut flavor will make you feel like you have headed to the beach instead of the Smokies. There is an excellent pineapple taste mixed in.
Strawberry – 65 proof
This would be great with lemonade. It tastes similar to a jolly rancher.
Orange – 70 proof
Very tangy. Tastes like orange Gatorade. Mix it up with Sprite for something new. It’s so good you could get in trouble quick!
Moonshine Peaches – 100 proof
Has bits of peaches inside. Overall, it isn’t as strong on the palette.
Butterscotch – 40 proof
Serve it on top of ice cream to cool down in the hot summer. It had a sweet salted caramel taste, which isn’t overpowering on the tail end.
Mountain Java – 35 proof
Quite smooth with a coffee taste. Add it to your coffee for a little burn. There also is a hint of vanilla on the tail.
Tennessee Mud – 35 proof
This is technically whiskey-infused rather than moonshine-flavored, with hints of vanilla. You can mix it with caramel and call it a Snickers shot. It tastes a bit like chocolate milk (spiked of course!).
After you finish moonshine tasting, look around the shop. They have tons of other flavors of shine. Some are seasonal, and some are only available at the distillery. If you have a MobileBrochure coupon or rack card, you can use it for 10% off all merchandise, including the moonshine. If you purchase a jar, you can save a couple of bucks and get the pour lid for only $.99 (priced at $2.99 regularly).
Sugarlands Distilling Company
Expect a rowdier moonshine tasting experience at Sugarlands Distilling Company in downtown Gatlinburg. You’ll sample most of the spread they offer. If you want a slightly different experience at Sugarlands, take a premium tour. They offer a blended sampling tour, which includes a 30-minute private tour of the still house. You’ll be able to witness shine in the making and receive a private mixology lesson (you can also drink the cocktails being made). Other tours are available, including a workshop where you can be a part of the entire moonshine process.
When you’re ready for a tasting tour, show your ID at the front table and get a wristband. You’ll be assigned to a tasting table where you will quickly learn to not drink the moonshine until after everyone is served and you get the go-ahead. Shine is a multi-purpose beverage. It can be drunk straight or mixed. Anything under 50 proof is good-to-go in the freezer and can be made into a slushy! You’ll see a lot of familiar names if you’ve ever watched Moonshiners on Discovery.
Jim Tom Hendrick’s Unaged Rye – 100 proof
Quite a well-balanced variety. You will be able to get a nice bourbon barrel flavor on the tail.
Mark & Digger’s Rye Apple – 80 proof
This is a nice moonshine with a sweet finish. You’ll get hints of spices like nutmeg and allspice.
Southern Sweet Tea – 40 proof
Enjoy this mixed with lemonade, or by itself. Made using cane sugar and black tea, it’s a silky smooth blend.
Old Fashioned Lemonade – 40 proof
If you don’t like overpowering moonshine, this is a good bet for you. It’s nice and sweet with a citrus finish.
Blueberry Muffin – 70 proof
Strong blueberry taste, with a hint of lemon. This is the first full year of this flavor being available.
Blockader’s Blackberry – 40 proof
I recommend you sniff this for the full effect. There are slight floral hints. You can mix in a lemon-lime soda for a quick and easy cocktail.
Peanut Butter & Jelly – 70 proof
There is some witchcraft going on with this shine. It has a jelly taste and a roasted peanut finish. If you breathe it in through your nose, you’ll taste jelly. When you breathe out of your mouth, you’ll taste peanuts.
Mark Rogers American Peach – 70 proof
Your palette will be filled with the flavor of summer peaches with this moonshine. There is a bit of bite on it, but that’s to be expected at 70 proof.
Appalachian Apple Pie – 50 proof
This tastes like a caramel apple rather than the cinnamon and apple you’ll get with Mark & Digger’s Rye Apple shine.
Butterscotch Gold – 40 proof
A sweet shine that will go down well, with a silky finish of hazelnut and cream.
Tickle’s Dynamite Cinnamon – 70 proof
This shine is probably sweeter than you would expect but ends with a blast of heat. Add it to a cocktail for an added punch of bite.
After you finish the tasting tour, it’s your turn to pick out what to buy. If you plan to purchase a jar of Sugarlands Shine, use the rack card for a free shot glass. You can also visit the brochure page and click the link for an off-site coupon for the same deal.
If you’d like to devote to moonshine tastings in the Smoky Mountains, check out Doc Collier’s in Gatlinburg and the Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge, TN. They both hold to Tennessee tradition with their moonshine. Create an account, log in, and then save the moonshine brochures for later.
Note: Due to issues with public intoxication, there is now a sample fee charged in Gatlinburg. Ole Smoky and other distillers will apply the sample fee towards a future purchase.
Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.