Gatlinburg, Tenn. Sugarlands Distilling Company, a new Gatlinburg distillery that is generating a national following since opening doors to the public in March at its location in the Heart of Gatlinburg.
Located at 805 Parkway Sugarlands Distilling Company showcases the companys deeply rooted, authentic approach to the craft of moonshine distilling. The visitor and customer experience includes the story of this East Tennessee regions own heritage, known in the early years as The Sugarlands, so named by the early settlers for the regions predominance of sugar maple trees that it is key in making moonshine.
”We are very excited to open our doors and start sharing our brand of shine with visitors”, said Brent Thompson, director of strategy for Sugarlands Distilling Company. “But as great as that will be, we are equally thrilled with the idea of sharing the story of the Sugarlands area with our visitors. How this unique part of the country gave rise to the genesis of moonshine distilling is such a remarkable part of East Tennessee history. Its core to who we are as a brand, and our sharing it with the masses is an indispensable part of what we plan to do here through our people and our products.”
On the shelves of the 10,000 square-foot store, among its other flavors, will be the companys signature shine Silver Cloud. The Tennessee sour mash moonshine is born of the perfect mix of traditional distilling techniques and modern distilling methods. The result is a smooth, mellow balance of sweetness, finished off with the kick that moonshine is known for, without sacrificing the subtle flavors of fresh corn and sweet cotton.
Sugarlands Distilling Company makes its moonshine by first grinding grains like corn and rye in an artisanal stone mill, into meal that is then mixed with pure Smoky Mountain water. From there, some varieties are moved to a giant cooker, and then transferred to a fermenter to simmer for a few days.
When the time is right, that “wash” is pumped into a copper pot still where it is heated and distilled. The alcohol vapor filters through the copper pipes and rises up through the plates of the distillation column, down through the chilling column to cool and is finally poured out of the Spirit Safe. Each batch of shine is distilled a total of six times, ensuring high quality and unmatched flavor.
In addition to the moonshine on the shelves, customers who visit Sugarlands Distilling Company can try multiple shine flavors at the distillerys Sippin Posts, as well as shopping for branded clothing and novelty items.
The distillery has also partnered with outdoor experience company, Smoky Mountain Guides, to provide tours for customers looking to get lost in the breathtaking wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains. Sugarlands Distilling Company plans to offer Moonshining in the Mountains motor tours, half day hikes, a backcountry trek and dine, and even overnight camping. The guides will also facilitate fresh-air fun activities like hiking, biking, camping, horse rides, fishing trips, and sightseeing, making a visit to the distillery a memorable experience for all ages, families, friends and work retreats.
Early settlers in The Sugarlands, an area within the Great Smoky Mountains, used syrup from the sugar maple trees as a sweetener in the days before the availability of cane sugar. While the early logging industry cleared innumerable trees, the sugar maple, remains scarce but present throughout the park. Sugar is a key ingredient in the making of moonshine something that has been manufactured in the area since those first settlers arrived.
It is with that tradition in mind that Sugarlands Distilling Company will open. The company quotes author Horace Kephart on each of its mason jars. In 1913, Kephart wrote of the Sugarlands, [It is] a country of ill fame, hidden deep in remote gorges, difficult of access, tenanted by a sparse population who preferred to be a law unto themselves. For many a year it had been known on our side as Blockaders’ Glory, which is the same as saying Moonshiners’ Paradise, and we all believed it to be fitly named.
Indeed, Sugarlands Distilling Company has found its way to this Moonshiners Paradise to begin distilling its unique brand of moonshine.
About Sugarlands Distilling Company
Sugarlands Distilling Company is a producer of craft quality moonshine and whiskey and is also a popular attraction in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Inside the distillery, guests can taste free samples of authentic Sugarlands Shine, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the production, and purchase a variety of moonshine flavors, mountain merchandise, and apparel. To enhance their experience, guests can enjoy live music, Appalachian storytelling, and book outdoor adventure tours in the Sugarlands, an area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park historically referred to as moonshiners paradise. The company is East Tennessee-owned, with a focus on bettering the local community through a variety of events and charitable giving. For more information, visit: http://www.sugarlandsdistilling.com/.