5 Places to Go Moonshine Tasting in Gatlinburg

You might be wondering why visiting distilleries and tasting moonshine is a Gatlinburg institution. It turns out there’s some history behind one of the city’s most popular tourist activities. 

The Smoky Mountain region was once home to many corn farmers. Traditionally, they would use their surplus corn crop to secretly distill whiskey in the evenings. 

Crafting and distributing this “moonshine” allowed farmers to make money. Meanwhile, it helped locals to avoid paying an exorbitant tax on whiskey. In fact, making moonshine in Gatlinburg and the surrounding state was still illegal until 2009! 

Contemporary moonshiners no longer have to ply their trade under the cover of darkness. Today, many incredible distilleries offer tastings of Tennessee moonshine in a range of unique, often seasonal flavors. In fact, the law dictates that all Gatlinburg distilleries ask for a tasting fee of only $5! 

Visitors often enjoy live music and other entertainment as they experience the best moonshine in Gatlinburg. 

We’ve created this guide to introduce Bear Camp guests to the best moonshine tastings in Gatlinburg, TN. Read on to discover our favorite destinations for participating in this local pastime. Many of our picks are right in the heart of our favorite downtown!  

 

The 5 Best Destinations for Gatlinburg, Tennessee Moonshine

1. Sugarlands Distillery

Sugarlands Distillery not only boasts the best moonshine in Gatlinburg, TN. This local institution claims to be home to the best moonshine in the country. Having tasted it, it’s hard to disagree! 

Located in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg, Sugarlands is in the center of everything. We recommend heading downtown and making a full day of it

Unique to this location, you’ll find a scintillating suite of moonshine cocktails. These original creations are available in their scenic back porch bar. Though most fun for the 21+ crowd, Sugarlands Distillery does welcome children and pets. Their hot chocolate is a great alternative for younger guests! 

While you’re there, enjoy a guided tour of their stillhouse and learn a bit about the history of moonshining in Gatlinburg.

 

2. Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler

“The Holler” is the original location for the popular Ole Smoky Moonshine. It’s one of the most popular distilleries in the region and the country. There, you can take a guided tour of their distillery and learn how the pros craft their whiskey. Following each tour, you will have an opportunity to sample 13 distinct moonshine flavors during a curated tasting. 

The Holler offers live music nearly every night. Feel free to bring your dog and kick back with some of their world-class whiskey and enjoy a show. While you must be 21+ to drink, The Holler welcomes guests as young as thirteen. 

 

3. Tennessee Shine Company

Tennessee Shine is one of the best-kept secrets in Gatlinburg, TN. Unlike Sugarlands and The Holler, this local distillery is smaller and locally owned. Even so, they use historical moonshining methods to craft their whiskey. 

The Tennessee Shine Company’s claim to fame is its unique suite of wholly original flavors. You’ll find more traditional flavors, like Apple Pie, right next to originals, like Blue Houdini and Jalapeno Cornbread. New flavors appear seasonally, perfect for celebrating the holidays. Plus, this distillery has a deal with Moonpie, allowing them to offer popular and tasty Moonpie-inspired flavors.

The atmosphere is welcoming and pleasant year-round. If you’re interested in a tour, you’ll need to head to their Sevierville location, however. 

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4. Beer Wine Liquor Superstore

Our next recommendation is what locals call “The Superstore.” This liquor store is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s a unique local favorite. It’s a great destination for those looking for more than moonshine—though you’ll find plenty of that, too! Because they offer such a broad selection, you can sample moonshine across brands and flavors.  

The Superstore is part tasting room, part local gift shop, and a great destination for photo opportunities. Best of all, it has fewer crowds than the more popular tourist-focused destinations in downtown Gatlinburg. 

 

5. Tennessee Stud Hard Cider

Tennessee Stud Hard Cider may not have moonshine in the name, but don’t let that fool you. Their Gatlinburg location is right on the Parkway, so you can walk there from anywhere in Downtown Gatlinburg. They offer a 15-moonshine tasting for the mandated flat rate of $5, so you get a tremendous bang for your buck.

While you’re there, you’ll want to sample the main attraction: their flavorful hard ciders. They combine an alcoholic apple juice base with fresh fruit purees to craft fresh, seasonal flavors unlike any other. 

 

Sleep It Off At Bear Camp Cabins

A sip of Gatlinburg moonshine is a powerful thing. When you’re done with your tasting, you’ll be happy to return to a comfortable luxury cabin. Once there, you’ll enjoy amenities ranging from private pools to fully outfitted game rooms. 

Bear Camp is the ideal home base, whether you’re hiking the Smokies or crawling from distillery to distillery. Kick back and relax after your search for the perfect sip. Book your dream Gatlinburg cabin today!

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