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Smoky Mountain Moonshine Guide
& FAQs

What To Know About Moonshine In Gatlinburg

colorful moonshine drinks, group of people making a toast and having fun
My picture of the Exterior view of a Moonshine store in Wears Valley, Sevierville Tennessee with mountains behind it

Moonshine Frequently Asked Questions
What to Know When Visting Gatlinburg Area Moonshine Distilleries

My photo fo the Sign for Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler my photo in Gatlinburg Tn
My carrier for 6 pack of mini sampler moonshines from Tennessee Shine Co in  Smoky Mountains
  • Moonshine VS Whiskey

To keep it simple, Whiskey is aged in a barrel, and moonshine is not. Aging is what turns the whiskey its darker colors.  This is why Moonshine has the nickname "White Lightning", because it is white when it is first made. 

  • Can I Get Moonshine on Sunday in Gatlinburg?

Yes, on Sundays, you can buy and sample moonshine in most places, from Noon - 7pm. 

  • How much does Moonshine cost in Gatlinburg?

To sample, bring your legal I.D. to show your are 21 and $5.00 or $10.00.  The five dollars can then be used toward the purchase of a full size product.  Prices can vary for different sizes and types, but a good estimate is about $30-$40 if you want to take a bottle of authentic Tennessee moonshine home. Check area marketing displays you will see everywhere for coupons.

Many new places that just open will offer free tastings, call ahead to see. We visited TN Shine Company and got free tastings, all we wanted, but it really depends on where you go and when you go.

  • What flavors of moonshine do they have?

New moonshine, whiskey and spirit flavors are invented, created and customized every day. The possibilities are endless, and that's what makes it so fun.


Some of the favorites are Appalachian Apple Pie and Blueberry Muffin, along with Cinnamon.  Each flavor can be of a different proof, with some flavors being stronger than others, for example Blue Flame. The distilleries are always coming up with new flavors and some are seasonal like Pumpkin Pie and Holiday Shine Nog.  Some other examples are Electric Lemonade, Butterscotch Gold, Sweet Tea, Banana, Blackberry, Butter Pecan, Root Beer, Hunch Punch, Peanut Butter and even Peanut Butter and Jelly. The possibilities are endless and we love it!

Here is my own favorite moonshine cocktail recipe I invented:

  • Moon Pie, Banana Cream Pie moonshine from TN Shine Co. in Wears Valley

  • Sprite

  • Bacardi Rum

Mix these 3 in amounts you like and be careful drinking it too fast because it's DELICIOUS!! 

  • Can I buy Gatlinburg moonshine online?

Yes, if you can't make it to Gatlinburg, check out CaskCartel - This would make an amazing gift

Also check out Bottle Haus, and Reserve Bar.

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, then 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, "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?

Shine Girl Distillery​, 1610 Jenkins Road, 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

Old Tennessee Distilling Co. (Formerly Thunder Road), 3605 Outdoor Sportsman Pl, Kodak, TN


King Family Distillery, 1440 Upper Middle Creek Rd., Ste 201, Sevierville

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

While you must be 21 and show I.D. to do a tasting, but most places in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are family friendly and offer entertainment and children and families are allowed.  Call ahead to be sure.

  • 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.

Ripleys Aquarium Penguin
ladies enjoying drinking cocktails, fun with friends
2 mason jars and a jar of Old Forge Distillery Moonshine, from Pigeon Forge TN, moonshine attraction, Smoky Mountain moonshine, mason jars, Old Forge Distillery jars.
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