Confession: As much as I love cocktails, I’ve never been much of a moonshine girl. But all that changed when I tasted Sugarlands Shine moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg, TN.
Opened in 2014, Sugarlands Distillery is located in the heart of Gatlinburg, TN. If you’ve had moonshine previously and thought it wasn’t for you, I’m begging you to give it another try. In just three short years, Sugarlands has proven to be one of the most popular in the market, expanding to 26 states. Their founders Mark and Digger were featured on the popular television show, Moonshiners.
Note our visit was a hosted trip but the opinions expressed are my own.
One thing that’s great about Sugarlands Shine, is that it is in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, so there’s plenty to do, just walking around the downtown before or after visiting the distillery. And the decor and layout of Sugarlands Shine is quite spectacular too. It is made from salvaged wood from several barns in an array of colors (blue, white, red, brown and grey).
I’d highly recommend taking the tour before sipping, so you can see those giant copper distillers up close. Plus they’ll even take you behind the scenes to see the filling process if you are a spirit nerd like me. But if you don’t want to do that, there are still giant windows that give you a peek at the distillers. What I found to set Sugarlands Shine apart from other Moonshine makers is that they distill their product six times, which ensures a smooth, quality product.
But I wasn’t convinced by a tour. It was the sampling of the goods that convinced me. And the layout is super cool too. So, Sugarlands Shine has what they call “Sippin’ Posts” for folks to gather around. There are three octagonal shaped bars, for for you to sip on the variety of moonshine samples you’ll get to try. The cost of a sampling is $5.
Sugarlands Shine has many different flavors of moonshine and I promise you won’t be bored. Choose from flavors like Hazlenut Rum, Blackberry, Pina Colada, Electric Organe, PB&J and more! Don’t worry – you won’t get very hammered as the samples are just about thimble full of product. It’s a great way to try out the samples and find out what you like. Jars of Sugarlands Shine can be purchased on site for $25 each.
Though all of us on the trip were of legal drinking age, it is worth noting that the distillery itself is open to all ages and is open daily. Of course, you have to be 21+ to imbibe, but good to know if you are in Gatlinburg with your family, you can pop in for a tour, knowing that Sugarlands Shine is kid friendly.
Oh and if you’re lucky you might get to meet two Sugarlands Shine owners, Mark and Digger who were also features on the television show moonshiners.
Don’t have time to read this article? Watch the video from Sugarlands Shine (1:14) below:
Sips up, y’all. Thank you, Sugarlands Shine!
Looking for something else for entertainment while you are in Gatlinburg? We really loved our visit to the Aquarium, which is only short walk away from Sugarlands Shine. I also highly recommend a morning hike up in the smokies while you are there. You could go exploring by yourself, which is one way to do it. But it is SOOO much better with a guide. There are over 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains, so rather than navigate them yourself, it is probably better to trust an experienced guide, especially if it is your first visit. We the best guide, Clayton LaPrees, from Smoky Mountain Guides. The hike was relatively easy, yet still invigorating and pretty informative too!