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Three clear moonshine jars

Celebrity Moonshiner Settling in Gatlinburg

Corn, mash and moonshine have had roots in the Smoky Mountains for generations. Through Thunder Road stories, country music songs and living legends, the traditions of mountain moonshining have been an important part of the Appalachian culture.

To continue this long-time moonshining tradition in Southern Appalachia, Sugarlands Distilling Company has announced a new partnership with personality Jim Tom Hedrick from the popular television series Moonshiners. After a moonshine career spanning nearly 60 years, his legal liquor will be available at the distillery’s Sippin’ Posts soon.

The legendary moonshiner, best known for the thick country drawl he uses to spin tales on the wildly popular show, began his moonshine career when he was 15 years old by transporting sugar for another shiner.

According to the Knoxville Daily Sun, Hedrick is only the first TV personality and moonshiner to bring his legal version of moonshine to Gatlinburg. The pursuit of selling his brand of legal liquor will be the launch of the distillery’s Legends Series, a product line to celebrate the true craftsmen of the trade. The company plans to quickly add to the collection when another unannounced moonshiner brings his legal version to the distilling roster.

Sugarlands Distilling Company will be open to the public beginning March 21. To celebrate, the distillery will be holding an exciting grand opening from 4:00pm to 12:00am that day, featuring musical performances by Cory Branan and the Underhills.

In addition to the celebration’s musical performances, those who are 21 and older who attend will have the chance to purchase any of the distillery’s six moonshine flavors. The company’s signature shine, Silver Cloud, is a traditional mix of sour mash moonshine, which results in a smooth balance with flavors of sweet cotton and fresh corn. Other flavors available are Southern Sweet Tea, Old Fashioned Lemonade, Butterscotch Gold, Blockader’s Blackberry and Appalachian Apple Pie.

In addition to the shine on the shelves, visitors of the Sugarlands Distilling Company can try the flavors at their Sippin’ Posts and shop for branded novelty items. Sugarlands has also partnered with Smoky Mountain Guides to provide customers an opportunity to participate in half-day hikes, “Moonshining in the Mountains” motor tours, backcountry trek and dines and overnight camping.

Looking for more fun things to do in Gatlinburg? Check out the Visit My Smokies What to Do page, where you can find restaurants, attractions and other distilleries throughout the area.