The Tennessee Whiskey Trail: 8 Distilleries in the Smoky Mountains

The Doc Collier Moonshine sign in the Smoky Mountains.

The state of Tennessee is world-famous for its whiskey and moonshine. In fact, whiskey is one of Tennessee’s top 10 exports! To help promote our state’s thriving whiskey culture, the Tennessee Distillers Guild recently launched the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Stretching from the Smoky Mountains all the way to Memphis, the whiskey trail includes about 30 distilleries that are open for tours and tastings.

Right here in Sevier County, we are lucky enough to have eight awesome distilleries on the trail! To help you make the most of your next vacation, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to all of the distilleries in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.

Sevierville

1. Thunder Road DistilleryMason jars filled with moonshine.

Thunder Road Distillery is named after a notorious route that bootleggers used to smuggle their moonshine during the Prohibition era. The distillery also pays homage to the classic Robert Mitchum film, Thunder Road, which was loosely inspired by actual events in East Tennessee. Visitors to Thunder Road Distillery will enjoy free tastings of their award-winning corn whiskey, moonshine, and other spirits.

2. Tennessee Legend Distillery

Tennessee Legend Distillery uses tried and true recipes to produce traditional, handcrafted spirits in the Smoky Mountains. Some of their most popular products include Salted Caramel Whiskey, Cinnamon Whiskey, and Coffee Moonshine. The distillery’s friendly staff is always happy to pour a sample or give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the whiskey making process.

Pigeon Forge

The Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge.3. Old Forge Distillery

Old Forge Distillery takes inspiration from Pigeon Forge’s famous iron forge, from which the city derives its name. Situated next to The Old Mill (near where the historic iron forge once stood), this distillery grinds its own grain to make some of the finest moonshine and bourbon in the Smokies. Old Forge Distillery’s 1830 Original Moonshine has been honored by the Sip Awards, ADI Craft Spirit Awards, and Micro Liquor Spirit Awards.

4. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery at the Barn

The Ole Smoky Moonshine Barn is a can’t-miss stop along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail! Located at The Island shopping and entertainment complex, the Barn is a fun place to sample some shine, listen to live bluegrass, and chat with moonshine experts. The Ole Smoky Barn has been known to host free concerts from big-name musical acts, such as Easton Corbin, the Soggy Bottom Boys, and Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters.

Gatlinburg

5. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery at the HollerA concert at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg.

The Ole Smoky Holler is America’s most visited distillery! As the flagship location for the Ole Smoky brand, the Holler produces all of the company’s signature flavors, including a few special varieties that you won’t find anywhere else. For a $5 fee, you can sample moonshine that tastes like Apple Pie, Lemon Drop, Strawberry, or another flavor. Guests who participate in tastings receive a $5 coupon that can be applied to any purchase made at the distillery. Like their sister location in Pigeon Forge, the Holler hosts free live music for visitors to enjoy.

6. Ole Smoky Whiskey Distillery at the Barrelhouse

In addition to their excellent moonshine, Ole Smoky also makes traditional whiskey at their Barrelhouse location. Aged in white oak barrels, this whiskey comes in a number of creative flavors, including Mango Habanero, Salty Watermelon, and Root Beer. As with all of the distilleries in Gatlinburg, samples are $5 (in exchange for a coupon) and tours are free.

7. Doc Collier Moonshine

Doc Collier Moonshine is named after legendary Smoky Mountain bootlegger William “Doc” Collier. Decades ago, Doc created a hugely popular moonshine recipe that made him a local hero in Sevier County. When you visit the Doc Collier distillery, you can taste a variety of unaged corn whiskey flavors, including Blackberry, Greenbrier Apple, and Peach. Doc Collier moonshine boasts a fun atmosphere reminiscent of an old country store.

The Sugarlands Distillery in Gatlinburg.8. Sugarlands Distilling Company

Visiting Sugarlands Distilling Company is ranked on TripAdvisor as the #1 thing to do in Gatlinburg, and it’s easy to see why! This awesome distillery features moonshine flavors developed by the stars of the hit Discovery Channel show Moonshiners along with Sugarlands Shine originals. Whether you sample some moonshine, take a tour, or just sit and listen to the wonderful music, you’re sure to have a blast when you stop by the Sugarlands distillery.

We can’t wait to see you along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail! To prepare for your trip, read up on the fascinating history of moonshine in the Smoky Mountains.

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  • Shaun Lowther

    Too bad these moonshiners aren’t making moonshine. If you’ve ever had the real deal, you know what I’m saying.