Genuine Tennessee Moonshine: Our Visit to Ole Smoky Distillery

Genuine Tennessee Moonshine: Our Visit to Ole Smoky

Summer means one thing for us – the perfect time to get out of the Florida heat and travel to new places. This year, our road trip took us to many locations with our first stop being in Gatlinburg Tennessee. A quick drive through Gatlinburg will leave you knowing that moonshine is highly popular. Therefore, we knew our visit would not be complete without a moonshine tasting and if we were going to try moonshine, why not visit East Tennessee’s first legal distillery – Ole Smoky.


The Tasting

I was pleased with our decision to do a moonshine tasting. Before the tasting, whenever I thought of moonshine, I thought of very high proof alcohol that burns on the way down and leaves a taste no chaser can take away. However, I was surprised by the pleasant and smooth taste of most of the flavors we tasted.

During our tasting, we were able to try 12 different flavors of moonshine and one whiskey. Some of the varieties included in our samples were Blackberry, Mountain Java, Some Beach, Margarita, Buckeye, Butter Pecan, and Chocolate Cherries. 

Ole Smoky Moonshine Tasting
While 13 liquors might seem like a lot for one tasting, the tasting cups are small – Just enough for you to get a true taste of the flavor.

The cost of the moonshine tasting is $5. In addition to being given 13 samples, you receive a $5 coupon to use on anything in the store. Therefore, if you later make a purchase, the tasting can be viewed as free.

Moonshine Tasting Cup
Tasting the Moonshine

Ole Smoky

Ole Smoky was the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee.

When I first heard this, I assumed that it meant the distillery had been around for a very long time. However, it was only in 2009 that Tennessee changed its laws and allowed people to make, distill and sell moonshine.

However, Ole Smoky’s roots go back much farther than its formal opening in 2010. The family claims to be one of the first to live in the Smoky Mountain and that their moonshine recipe dates back over 100 years.

Now, you can visit the world’s most visited distillery in four Tennessee locations. Two locations are in Gatlinburg, one is in Pigeon Forge, and the newest location is in Nashville.

Not traveling to Tennessee anytime soon? Some of Ole Smoky’s products are available in select liquor stores and restaurants. Shipping of some flavors is also available where legally allowed.


Our Review

We highly enjoyed the tasting. After sampling 13 options (and they have more we did not taste!), while we enjoyed some more than others, we can honestly say that we are a fan!

We ended our night deciding to take home three flavors: Blackberry, Buckeye, and Carmel Apple. Since we have been enjoying them at home, Buckeye is our favorite. We for sure will be buying more soon!

Ole Smoky Moonshine Blackberry

Bootleggers Homemade Wine

Before heading home after our moonshine experience, I decided to make a quick stop at Bootleggers Homemade Wine. The Gatlinburg tasting room is in the same plaza as Ole Smoky’s Holler location, and of course, I cannot just walk by a winery without stopping in – especially when the tasting is free!

Bootleggers Homemade Wine Storefront
While I did not find any wines I wanted to take home, I’m happy I decided to stop by. I found most of the wines sweeter than my preference (my favorites tend to be very dry), but they were all smooth and drinkable. Plus, it did give me the opportunity to taste some wines outside of the typical grape varieties. Bootleggers Homemade Wine varieties include Strawberry, Peach, and Blackberry wines.

Even though I did not purchase any wines, I did not leave empty handed. The gift shop had many wine-themed shirt and accessories that I wanted to take home. In the end, I settled on my new favorite casual tank top, and my husband bought a hat.

Shirt from Bootleggers Homemade Wine Store

If you are in the Gatlinburg area, I highly suggest you visit Bootleggers Homemade Wine. If you like sweet wines, you might find a new favorite. Otherwise, I’m sure you can find a new shirt or another must-have item in their gift shop.


Want to read more about my travels tasting wine and other great liquors? Click here to check out my 50 State Wine Tour!

Genuine Tennessee Moonshine: Our Visit to Ole Smoky Distillery