Moonshine Guide & FAQs

What To Know Before You Go
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Moonshine?

Moonshine is whiskey that is un-aged white whiskey.  Whiskey is aged in barrels for longer periods of time, giving it a darker color than moonshine. It's one of the reasons for the nickname "White Lightening".  Many people who made it illegally did so in hiding and by the light of the moon to dodge authorities.  

  • What's the difference between legal and illegal shine?

The main differences are

  1. Illegal moonshine is made without regulations or oversight.  Also known as underground or black market. Backwoods shiners are not accountable for what may happen to your shine before you get it.

  2. It's illegal if the seller doesn't pay taxes to the government.

  3. It's illegal if you don't have a license or permit to make and sell it.

  • Is the stuff in Gatlinburg stores "real moonshine"?

Yes.

Now....hold on a sec, because technically, the word "moonshine" came from the fact that it was being made illegally.  So if you want to get technical, than moonshine applies to illegal homemade stuff. But in reality, just because shine is made legally, doesn't mean it's not moonshine.  That would be like saying Grama's homemade brownies are real, but the Bakery Shop in town only sells fake brownies.

 

Many distillers proudly use recipes handed down through generations and family traditions. Find out about the distiller's history in the business as you sample the different brands.    

  • What is the Proof of Moonshine?

Moonshine varies in its degree of alcohol content.  Check your label for more info.

 

According to Clawhammersupply.com, "Old school moonshiners can tell the proof of their shine by shaking the mason jar and looking at the bubbles. If the moonshine has large bubbles that disappear quickly it indicates that the moonshine has a high alcohol content, while smaller bubbles that disappear slower indicate lower alcohol content." 

  • Where can I get moonshine in Gatlinburg?

Ole Smoky Moonshine, 903 Parkway, Gatlinburg

Sugarlands Distilling Company, 805 Parkway, Gatlinburg

Doc Collier Moonshine, 519 Parkway, Gatlinburg

Ole Smoky Barrelhouse, 650 Parkway, Gatlinburg

These places also offer tastings before you buy and are a lot of fun! Some places do free tastings, but most now charge $5.00 or more for samples, but the amount is also usually applied to any purchase afterward.

  • Where can I get moonshine in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville?

Old Forge Distillery​, 170 Old Mill Avenue, Pigeon Forge

Junction 35 Spirits, 2655 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN

Tennessee Shine Company, 3435 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge

Ole Smoky Barn, 131 Island Drive, #9116, Pigeon Forge

Tennessee Shine Company, 3303 Wears Valley Rd., Sevierville

Tennessee Legend Distillery, 870 Winfield Dunn Pkwy, Sevierville 

Smith Creek Moonshine, Tanger Outlets, Sevierville

Sevier Distilling Company, 745 Old Douglas Dam Rd., Sevierville

  • Are kids allowed into places that sell moonshine and do distillery tours?

Of course, you must be 21 to do a tasting, but most places in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are family friendly and offer entertainment and children and families are allowed.

  • What is Everclear?

Everclear is a brand name. It is always 190 proof. As strong as you can ever buy. That means its 95% - let me repeat - 95% alcohol.  It's not even legal in all states. In contrast, moonshine varies in its degree of alcohol content. 

  • What are some nicknames for Moonshine?

shine, hooch, white lightning, firewater, skullpop, mountain dew, white whiskey

  • Where did moonshine originate?

Moonshine has been an American tradition for as long as our country has existed. American pioneers and immigrants brought whiskey making with them from their home countries and shine making has been practiced in the backwoods of every corner of America for as long as governments have tried to tax and control it.

  • Can moonshine make you go blind?

If you got a hold of poor quality shine with high methane, yes it could happen, but only the illegal variety.  Drink the illegal shines at your own risk. Not all illegal shine is bad, but you have no way of really knowing for sure.

  • Was Mountain Dew moonshine?  

Mountain Dew soda, was originally invented as a mixer for whiskey.  Mountain Dew soda formula was invented in 1940 in Virginia and marketed in Tennessee. As it got more popular, Pepsico bought it in 1964 and is now loved by many for its high caffeine content.  In 2015, a retro version called  "Dewshine," was made using real sugar, in place of high-fructose corn syrup that celebrates its early Moonshine connection.

Recipes
From Ole Smoky Moonshine
http://olesmoky.com/recipes/all  
(Favorite-"Apple Ginger")
From Smith Creek Moonshine
https://www.smithcreekmoonshine.com/recipes
(Don't Miss "The Captain's Pie" for Autumn)
From Tennessee XXX Moonshine
http://tnxxxmoonshine.com/recipies/  
(Check Out "Peaches and Shine")
From Old Forge Distillery
https://oldforgedistillery.com/recipes/  
(Check out "Moonslide" and "Blackberry Basil French Toast")
Disclosure:
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
I also participate in other affiliate programs and accept commissions based on link performance.  I strive to only promote things that I believe have integrity, add value and positively affect my readers.
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
About the Site Author and Creator

 This site was created with love to promote the place 

 we call home-the Sevier County area and the beautiful 

 Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. 

Contact:

SmokyMoutainStarlight@gmail.com

Copyright 2017 Smoky Mountain Starlight

All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy

SmokyMountainStarlight.com (SMS) respects your privacy.

When you subscribe to this website, we will send you updates and news we believe will be of interest to you.  SMS will never spam your inbox. If, at any time, you choose to unsubscribe, you will find the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of all email.

 

SMS may sometimes use emails to reach out when we think it will be helpful to you based on your subscription to our Events Updates.  By subscribing, you give us permission to do so. Some content contain links that enable cookies. This allows us to be compensated for referring your business to others based on your interest in the Smoky Mountains.

 

This site also contains links to other sites we feel may be helpful to you and try to show only those with authority on each subject.  Please be aware that once you leave SmokyMountainStarlight.com, we encourage you to be aware that each outside site has their own individual privacy policy.

 

You may contact SmokyMountainStarlight@gmail.com.

 

Thank you for being a Smoky Mountain Starlight Subscriber! We are happy you are here!