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
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.
It's illegal if the seller doesn't pay taxes to the government.
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"?
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, instead of high-fructose corn syrup to honor the history of its moonshine connections.