Bottled by Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC · Gatlinburg, Tennessee
HISTORY OF MOONSHINE
Here in the Smoky Mountains, our moonshine tradition runs strong. Our Scots-Irish ancestors
brought their knowledge and skills of whiskey-making with them as they came to Appalachia.
Conditions in the area were good for growing corn, but it didn’t take long to realize a lot more money could be made off of a gallon of corn liquor than a bushel. Once the law began cracking down on the industry, the nature of our people and the rugged mountain terrain made way for the hay day of bootlegging.
People here have always had a healthy mistrust of government. Families in our small mountain communities would often sound warnings to others upon sight of a strange vehicle. Folks weren’t real welcoming of federal “revenuers” seeking to shut down local stills. As evidenced by the lyrics of one of our State Songs, “Once two strangers climbed Ole Rocky Top looking for a moonshine still. Strangers ain’t come
down from Rocky Top. Reckon they never will,” people here in the mountains didn’t want the government to interfere. The fiercely independent spirit of our people and the rough terrain of the mountains allowed our great whiskey tradition to flourish. Prohibition made the craft of making moonshine even more profitable.
With Prohibition came a great demand for moonshine in the big cities. Hiding an operation in the mountains was easy compared to the challenges of transporting your wares into town. Agents would hide out along backcountry roads, waiting for the chance to nail a moonshine runner. The mountains are full
of stories of young men who ran liquor.
Recipes and traditions have been passed down through generations of families in the Virginias, Carolinas, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee. Today, those tried and true family traditions live on in Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine. Our families were growing corn and making whiskey here before Tennessee was a state, and after years of having to hide from the law, we’re proud to finally be able to legally share the best spirits in the mountains.
WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR FAMILY'S MOONSHINE STORY!
At Ole Smoky, we honor the tradition of the men and women who perfected the art of making ‘shine. Did your family make a living from moonshine? If so, we want to hear all about it. Please email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature it on our website.