Gatlinburg Knows the Art of Distilling

When most people think of moonshine, images of shady backwoods folk drinking something that tastes like rubbing alcohol probably come to mind.

But if you’re adventurous about trying new adult beverages, pick your poison at some of Gatlinburg’s excellent distilleries during your next stay at White Oak Lodge and Resort.

Historically known as white lighting, hooch, or white whiskey during Prohibition, moonshine in Gatlinburg is now a legal and refined science, and it even tastes good. While each distiller brags about their highest proof white corn moonshine (the stuff that curls your hair and makes you howl), they also make flavored moonshines with unique blends like pumpkin, apple pie, sweet tea, and lemon drop that go down way too smooth.

When visiting Gatlinburg, walk up and down the strip to taste the different varieties, and be sure to bring your favorite home, since some don’t distribute outside of Tennessee.

A few favorites are Ole Smoky Moonshine, Sugarlands Distillery (check out the moonshine recipes on their site), and Doc Collier.

Smoky Mountain Brewery is the only brewery in Gatlinburg but more than worth a lunch or late afternoon stop to try a flight of their local beers. There’s the Cherokee Red Ale, a medium-bodied blend with a fruity finish, Appalachian Pale Ale, a hoppy dry beer, and the Harvest Fest Lager, reminiscent of a German beer. Add a delicious pizza and spectacular view of the mountains when you sit upstairs, and you have the makings of a memorable (we hope) experience.

Wine drinkers don’t usually think of Tennessee as a destination for wine, and they would be wrong. You can take the Rocky Top Wine Trail, comprised of five wineries offering more than 60 unique varieties of wine to sample.

A wine to look for is the Cherry-Kee at Sugarlands Cellars, described as a “nod to your grandmothers cherry pie” made with 100% cherries.

Smoky Mountain Winery is the oldest producer in East Tennessee and offers free tours daily. At Bootleggers Homemade Wine, the winemakers use local fruits to infuse their distinct blends.

Davy Crockett’s Distillery
produces flavored whiskeys that taste great served over ice, straight up or any way you can get creative! Put the Chocolate or Southern Pecan over ice cream or rev up your coffee with Salty Caramel or creamy Tennessee Mud flavors.

Next time you’re visiting White Oak Lodge and Resort, take a chance on some delicious distilled spirits. This ain’t your grandpappy’s moonshine!

Have you ever tried moonshine? Tell us about your favorite Gatlinburg distilleries.

Victoria Hoffman

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is an actress (and active) with local community and city theatre.

One thought on “Gatlinburg Knows the Art of Distilling

  1. Going to Gattlenburg for the first time in may. Curious about the best most authentic moonshine distillery there. Who has the highest proof ? Can it be purchased and brought back on the plane trip back to California ?

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