Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Ole Smoky means only one thing in Gatlinburg, and that’s Tennessee moonshine. Ole Smoky Moonshine is one of the most recognized brands in the craft spirits industry. It was the first federally recognized moonshine distillery in East Tennessee – the revenuers finally bowed to the inevitable, you might say – and it operates several distilleries in Tennessee, most notably in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Image courtesy of Ole Smoky

In Gatlinburg, Ole Smoky started at The Holler, which we wrote about back in the day: Shine on at Old Smoky Distillery. It still operates that great venue, which has seen its share of legendary musicians and performers over time – be sure to follow the Soggy Bottom Boys link to the wonderful Holler performance of Alison Krauss and Dr. Ralph Stanley. As we remarked at the time, bluegrass and moonshine go together like, uhm, bluegrass and moonshine

Ole Smoky also has another outlet farther along Parkway, as well as a popular distillery in Pigeon Forge. All these locations serve not only as production facilities (which sell online and ship all over) but also as tourist delights, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the world of moonshine production. The distilleries blend traditional Appalachian methods with modern techniques – and all of that science and craft comes down to small thimble-sized samplings that millions of people have enjoyed

Corn liquor – moonshine – has a distinct taste, very smooth on the throat and with a compelling, almost appetizing flavor even in its basic, natural state. But it lends itself to all kinds of additional flavorings too, which is why you want that small thimble, because you’ll want to sample several of the creations. Indeed, distilleries specialize in giving tours of the product, along with the colorful and storied history of the drink, and the congenial “shinetenders” serve up much fun and entertainment along with the nectar itself. Moonshine sampling is a fun thing that many visitors to the Smokies put on their bucket list to enjoy at least once during their stay.

Ole Smoky Moonshine in Gatlinburg

The original Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg will always be known famously as The Holler. Said to be America’s most visited distillery, it’s located in the heart of Gatlinburg and offers guests the opportunity to learn about the history of moonshine in the Smoky Mountains. Visitors can see the distillation process up close, from mashing to fermentation to distillation.

On the menu at The Holler are moonshine tastings – for a small fee, guests can sample a variety of moonshine flavors. The selection often includes classics like Original Corn Whiskey and White Lightnin’, as well as flavored shines such as Apple Pie, Peach, and Blackberry.

Or, try some Specialty Moonshine Cocktails, crafted with moonshine, showcasing creative mixes that highlight the versatility of the liquor. And don’t go away empty-handed. Pick up your favorite moonshine flavors by the bottle – have them shipped home if you want – along with branded merchandise such as apparel, glassware, and accessories.

Wait there’s more! By the way, distilleries no longer stop at moonshine and many of them produce some very distinct products such as an array of whiskies, which you can also sample at Ole Smoky. You’ll find the aged spirits at The Barrelhouse, Ole Smoky’s other distillery 3 blocks along Parkway. Here you can enjoy many whiskey tastings, including some selections only available at this one distillery.

Ole Smoky Moonshine in Pigeon Forge

Ole Smoky operates The Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge, that all-day wildly popular shopping and entertainment complex. Similarly to The Holler, the Ole Smoky Barn offers an extensive range of moonshine tastings, including seasonal and limited-edition flavors.A variety of moonshine-based cocktails are available, showcasing unique recipes and flavor combinations. To wash all that down, in addition to moonshine, the Barn also serves a selection of local and craft beers, catering to a broad range of tastes.

Across all locations, Ole Smoky Distilleries prides itself on providing an engaging experience that includes live music, outdoor seating areas, and often, food trucks or snack options to complement the beverages. The atmosphere is designed to be family-friendly, with non-alcoholic options available so that everyone can enjoy the visit.

The old bootlegger days have given way now to the modern era. Ole Smoky’s moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a lingering taste of that past in a charming experience combining Tennessee’s rich history of moonshine production with the modern craft spirit movement. For the spirits aficionado or the visitor up for fun in the Smoky Mountains, Ole Smoky is here for you.

Useful Information

Ole Smoky Tennessee Distillery
The Holler: 903 Parkway Suite 128, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
The Barrelhouse: 650 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
The Barn: 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Web: olesmoky.com