It sounds weird to say that I only drink moonshine for the taste. I doubt that the hardcore “White Lightning” is meant to be sipped. However, that’s the way I enjoy apple pie flavored moonshine. I had the chance to sip some on Thursday night at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg. They say it’s the first legal moonshine distillery in Tennessee.
I had been looking forward to the grand opening since receiving a press release last month. My plan was to purchase some of the apple pie variety. However, the flavored moonshines won’t be available for sale for another 30 days or so. I overheard someone say that an additional government agency had to give approval on the flavored liquors. The clear, straight stuff was licensed and available for sale. In addition to the moonshine samples, the guests were offered tasty strawberry coladas made with ‘shine instead of rum. All that was missing was the paper umbrella.
The new business is located between Lineberger’s Seafood Company and the Hollywood Wax Museum. It has a touristy feel, as it should in Gatlinburg. Those of us on the guest list got a free t-shirt out of the deal. I suspect that they’ll be selling plenty of shirts to locals and visitors alike.
To offset some of the alcohol, they served hors d’oeuvres of moonshine-glazed trout on Saltines. The fish came from English Mountain Trout Farm and was delicious. Unfortunately, the Saltines wilted under the pressure.