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Ole Smoky Moonshine Review: Moonshine & distillery info

We originally got a chance to check out Ole Smoky Moonshine in 2011, when there were only three flavors sold in a handful of states. Now, America’s first legal moonshine distillery is up to 25 moonshine — plus 17 whiskey — flavors, sold in all 50 states. Find out about the drinks and distilleries in Tennessee in this Old Smokey Moonshine review.

​For more boozy fun, check out all of our distillery posts.

A mason jar of moonshine, a lid with a spout, and a barrel-shaped shot glass on a table with the words "Ole Smoky Moonshine Review with moonshine and distillery info" digitally written on top.

My family is one of those families that is rooted in tradition. If we’re doing it, it’s because we’ve done it for the last 25 years. So, tailgating at a New York Mets game every year, yup, we’ve done it as long as I’ve been alive. And my mom, affectionately known as Cathy Cosmo, bringing her version of the drink, yup, that has happened as long as I can remember as well.

We went to our annual game back in 2011, instead of her cocktail being made with vodka, it was made with Apple Pie Moonshine. Oh, this wasn’t stuff we brewed in our bathtub during prohibition; actually, it was Ole Smoky Moonshine, Tennessee’s first legal moonshine.

I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee when I was a kid (part of our family tradition of camping every summer) and we rode up a lift to the top of the Smoky Mountains. It’s here that the moonshine is made. Okay, not at the top of the mountain, but in the town. You’re actually able to take a distillery tour in Gatlinburg. If you want something a little closer to home, Ole Smoky Moonshine is sold in select Sam’s Club and most liquor stores.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a cute mountain town that you HAVE to visit. Find all the great things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on

There’s more to do in Gatlinburg than just visiting the distillery. Fill your trip to the area with help from our things to do in Gatlinburg, TN post.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Review

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Quick note: We originally published this post back in 2011, when Old Smoky Moonshine only had three variants: Original Corn Whiskey, Apple Pie Moonshine, and White Lightning. Now, in 2024, the brand has 25 moonshine and 17 whiskey flavors. What a difference a decade makes.

So, back in 2011, we were sent the Original Corn Whiskey, Apple Pie Moonshine, and Ole Smoky Moonshine cherries for review. Since then, we actually went to the distillery where Pete did the tasting. More about that after our original review.

Two bottles of mason jars filled with Ole Smoky Moonshine on a shelf. The one on the left is a clear liquid and the one on the right is a brown liquid.

The company sent us the Original Corn Whiskey and Apple Pie Moonshine, along with a mason jar filled with moonshine-drenched cherries. There was a recipe list included with the alcohol. The Not So Cosmopolitan called for White Lightning, but Cathy Cosmo made due with the Apple Pie Moonshine. It gave the cosmo a cinnamon flavor, which was welcomed. It was really like drinking an apple pie. Bring this to your Thanksgiving dinner instead of traditional apple cider and you’ll be invited back next year.

She added the juice from the cherries the cosmo, which was a nice touch. But that left a ton of cherries abandoned. I tried one, thinking it would be just another maraschino cherry. Oh no. The cherry definitely tasted like it was swimming for months in alcohol — which makes sense considering, well, it was.

The biggest gripe we had was that the alcohol comes in mason jars. Now, while that’s a really cool presentation, it’s not a really convenient package. Imagine trying to pour yourself whiskey on the rocks. So you pick up the mason jar of Original Corn Whiskey, attempt to pour, and more ends up on your tabletop than in your drink. So you need another vessel to get it out: a ladle, a dropper, something. Anything to get out a drop because, honestly, that’s all you need of the Original Corn Whiskey.

So, update: Ole Smoky Moonshine actually sells a lid with a spout for mason jars now. It’s the same size as a traditional mason jar lid. The only difference is it has a spout so you can easily pour your drink.

A bottle off Old Smoky Moonshine cherries on a shelf.

The white whiskey smells strong, like something your grandpa made in the bathtub. It’s pretty undrinkable straight, unless you’re in the mood to grow a little hair on your chest. We mixed a drop of the Original Corn Whiskey with a ton of Crystal Light appletini mix and it was still the strongest drink ever known to man. It’s not for the weak of heart.

Ole Smoky Moonshine is awesome as far as packaging goes. And the Apple Pie Moonshine and cherries are good to mix and give to anyone you know who drinks. The original moonshine, well, that’s strong enough to strip paint. Try it wisely.

Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery Review

A few years ago, we went to the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, nicknamed “The Holler” in Gatlinburg. It’s America’s most visited distillery, and I’m pretty sure everyone who wanders through the main drag of Gatlinburg wanders in.

The outside of the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, TN decorated for Christmas.

The Holler is like a tiny little Disney-esque village for Moonshine lovers.

For only $5, anyone who is 21+ with a valid ID can do a whiskey and moonshine tasting with samples of seven whiskey and moonshine flavors. The bottles are lined around the bar and you’re able to request the samples that you want (although, samples are subject to what’s available and are pre-determined by the location).

What’s really nice is that after you’re done with your tasting, you get a $5 coupon that you can use in The Holler. You can apply it to a bottle of whiskey or moonshine, the aforementioned lid with a spout, a whiskey barrel-shaped shot glass, and other interesting souvenirs. 

For $8, you can get a total of 10 samples, which is great if you’re really having trouble deciding on what you want to try.

Whiskey barrels behind glass with a sign in front that teaches about moonshine at the Ole Smoky Moonshine distillery in Gatlinburg, TN.

If you have time, you can actually take a distillery tour. The one hour guided tour is followed by a 13 sample tasting. You only have to be 13 to take the tour, but you do have to be of legal drinking age for the samples. Tours are $37.95 and need to be booked in advance. So, if you’re planning a trip to the area, definitely reserve your spot ahead of time.

If you forget to do that, you can take a self-guided tour outside. You can look through glass windows to see into the distillery, then read the plaques to get more information about the moonshine making process.

What’s really cool is there is a stage and a ton of wooden rocking chairs in that area. There’s very often music up on that stage, giving you a great excuse to stop your self-guided walking tour of Gatlinburg, kick your feet up, and enjoy the Tennessee sunshine.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a cute mountain town that you HAVE to visit. Find all the great things to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on

The Holler isn’t the only Ole Smoky distillery on that street. Down the block and across the street is “The Barrelhouse,” easily recognized by the huge mason jar sign on the outside. You can do the tasting tour at The Barrelhouse as well.

The Barrelhouse is still huge, but smaller than The Holler, and feels like more of a retail shop with a bar inside rather than the full experience of The Holler.

And, as if two wasn’t enough, Ole Smoky has two other Tennessee locations: Pigeon Forge and Nashville, the latter of which is a partnership with YeeHaw Brewing Company, so there’s beer on site, along with food, corn hole, and more good stuff to do. It’s the best way to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, eating a little bit of food, and sipping on boozy beverages. Perfect Nashville.

​Have you tried Ole Smoky Moonshine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.