If you have always wanted to try some of the South’s famous moonshine, Gatlinburg, TN is the place to do it! Our Smoky Mountain city is home to a number of wonderful distilleries where you can sample authentic Tennessee white lightnin’. Located right on The Strip, Black Bear Inn & Suites is within walking distance of three amazing moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg TN. To help you make the most of your vacation, we have put together a handy guide to trying white whiskey in the Smokies.
Brief History of Moonshine in Gatlinburg
“Moonshine” refers to unaged corn whiskey that was traditionally made by the light of the moon. Back in the day, moonshiners would distill their spirits under the cover of darkness in order to avoid being noticed by the authorities. For hundreds of years, farmers in the Smoky Mountains would turn their surplus corn into whiskey, which they sold to bring in some extra revenue. The moonshiners operated outside the bounds of the law so they didn’t have to pay the government’s excise tax on whiskey. In 2009, a change in Tennessee law allowed for the creation of the states’ first legal moonshine distilleries.
How Gatlinburg’s Moonshine Tastings Work
All of the moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg TN offer tastings to guests who are 21 and over. There is a $5 charge per person for each tasting. However, participants receive a $5 coupon in return, which can be applied to any purchase made in the distillery’s gift shop. Each tasting consists of a variety of moonshine flavors, which are served in tiny shot glasses.
Can You Bring the Family?
Although they serve alcohol, Gatlinburg’s moonshine distilleries have a family-friendly atmosphere and it is not uncommon for parents to visit with their kids. The Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and Sugarland Distillery both regularly host free live music, so non-drinkers and children can sit back in a rocking chair and enjoy the great entertainment.
Downtown Moonshine Distilleries in Gatlinburg TN
1. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
Known as “The Holler”, the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is the most visited distillery in the United States! Some of the most popular flavors at Ole Smoky include Blue Flame, Apple Pie, and Butter Pecan. The Holler is just a 5-minute walk from Black Bear Inn & Suites. If you’re looking for traditional, aged whiskey instead of moonshine, be sure to check out Ole Smoky’s “Barrelhouse” distillery in downtown Gatlinburg.
2. Sugarlands Distillery
Sugarlands Distillery partners with the stars of the popular Discovery Channel show Moonshiners to bring their secret recipes to the masses. In addition to tastings, visitors to Sugarlands Distillery can sign up for special behind-the-scenes tours and workshops. Standout moonshine flavors at Sugarlands include Maple Bacon, Electric Orange, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Our hotel is a 6-minute walk from Sugarlands Distillery.
3. Doc Collier Moonshine Distillery
Doc Collier Moonshine takes its name from William “Doc” Collier, a Smoky Mountain bootlegger who was regionally famous for his signature moonshine recipe. The distillery boasts an old-fashioned mercantile atmosphere and great flavors like Greenbrier Apple, Peach, and Blackberry. In addition to its standard $5 tastings, Doc Collier also offers a premium tasting experience that comes with more flavors and a free shot glass. Doc Collier Moonshine is a 15-minute walk from Black Bear Inn & Suites.
Where to Stay in Gatlinburg
When you stay at Black Bear Inn & Suites, you will have the perfect home base for touring all of the moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg TN. Offering a complimentary hot breakfast bar, enclosed heated pool, high-speed wireless internet, and balconies with beautiful views, our hotel has everything you need for an unforgettable getaway. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of Gatlinburg hotel rooms!