A visit to the Smoky Mountains is not complete without seeing firsthand how moonshine is made! Sugarlands Distilling Company, which is located in downtown Gatlinburg, is the perfect place to observe the distilling process, try a few flavors in the tasting area, buy some souvenirs to take home, and catch a live band.
When you get to Sugarlands Distilling Company, you will feel like you are stepping back in time. The barn-house exterior and interior were designed using wood salvaged from four East Tennessee barns. The 150-year-old reclaimed wood combined with the active still house, back porch, sippin’ stations, and a moonshine-running truck.
The award-winning shine that Sugarlands Distilling Company produces is no secret (more on that below) and now every visitor can watch how it’s made. The Sugarlands Still House, which is located on the right side of the store, puts the whole process on display for the general public. Here, you will see a stone mill, fermenter, copper still, distillation column, and spirit safe.
By this point, you are likely ready to taste the moonshine. Good news – there are three sippin’ stations that feature regular tastings anytime the doors are open. Recently, the City of Gatlinburg started requiring distilleries to a nominal fee for moonshine and whiskey tastings – expect to pay $5 to try 12 flavors.
Our Favorite Flavors of Sugarland Shine at Sugarlands Distilling Company:
Mark & Digger’s Rye Apple
With flavors of nutmeg, allspice, and apple pastries working in tandem with Shine’s 80-proof strength, this Sugarland Shine flavor makes for easy sipping! Our staff had the opportunity to sit down with these two Discovery Channel Moonshiners stars and discuss the launch and origin of this exciting flavor – here is the video.
Silver Cloud Tennessee Mash
The undeniable flavors of fresh Tennessee corn and cane sugar are not enough to take the bite out of this 100-proof traditional shine. This is an authentic sipping shine!
Nervous about trying moonshine and want to start out with an easier flavor? Try this incredibly easy-to-drink, low-alcohol (40-proof) flavor. The perfect combination of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla will ensure this jar stays in your hand long past the first sip!
Mint Condition Peppermint
This refreshing 100-proof shine is one of the stronger flavors offered by Sugarland Shine, but the peppermint combined with undertones of cocoa and cream creates a smooth and pleasant finish.
-If you didn’t know how to look, you could easily miss out on the live music. Go all the way to the back of the retail store and you will find a listening area and stage that regularly features talented acts.
-Want to learn more about how Sugarland Shine is made? The distillery offers free tours on a regular basis and you can sign up for these all day long. In addition to the free tours, Sugarlands Distilling Company offers premium tours for only $15 that include a 30-minute tour, moonshine mixing class, and blended sampling.
–Upset about the tasting fee? Good news – Sugarlands will give you a voucher towards any purchase of moonshine or souvenirs, which basically makes the tasting free if you are planning on buying anything.