Ole Smoky Moonshine

I recently tasted through the lines of spirits made by Ole Smoky Moonshine.  They currently produce Ole Smoky White Lightnin, Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine and Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine.

Ole Smoky is out of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and produces about 5 different marks of Moonshine related spirits.  Ole Smoky is actually the first legally licensed distillery to be allowed to produce spirits in East Tennessee since the state changed its laws.

Many of the original Moonshiners were of Scottish or Irish decent.  They all ready knew the art of distillation and found perfect areas tucked back in the mountains to hide stills and of the watchful eye of Big Brother.  Most Moonshine was originally made with excess corn local families would produce on their farms.  Families realized that instead of selling bushels of corn to local merchants, they could actually make more money by converting it into a form of “liquid gold”.  Ole Smoky keeps to that tradition by planting, growing and harvesting their own corn as well.  It’s then taken down to the local family mill and ground down before being transformed into Moonshine.

The first mark I tasted was the Ole Smoky White Lightnin.

It’s made from 100% Neutral Grain Spirits and comes in at 100 Proof.  It’s been distilled 6 times in a copper pot still and tastes quite smooth.  There’s a lot of buttered corn on the palate due some of the oils from the corn still being present.  It’s quite nice.  By itself, there’s a slight burn on the finish of the spirit, but it is 100 proof!

White Lightnin

It would be great for simple classics at home like a Collins or a Fizz:

Smoky Collins

2 oz. Ole Smoky White Lightnin

1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 Ratio Sugar and Water) Topped with Soda

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass except Soda Water and add ice. Roll the drink back and forth between two glasses to chill it down and then pour into a Collins glass Top with Soda water and garnish with a fresh lemon wedge

If you want to get a litte crazy with it, it will also work in a spirit forward cocktail like a Manhattan or Old-Fashioned.

White Lightnin Manhattan

2 oz. Ole Smoky White Lightnin

1 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth

3 Dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir and then strain into the glass of your choice (I like classic Coupes). Garnish with a lemon twist.

Next up I tried the Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine.  One of the things I liked about it is that it’s set at 40 Proof.  It’s easier to mix, sip by itself and also convert people from Vodka into a new category of spirits.

It smells of freshly picked and crushed peaches.  Very floral on the nose and silky sweet on the palate.  It reminds me of a peach cobbler with a sugary finish (a little too sweet for me).  This couldn’t come at a better time of the year though.  With Summer riding on Springs tails right now, this is a great warm weather spirit.


Ole Smoky Peach Cobbler

2 oz. Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine

.5 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredientes in a Julep tin. Add shaved ice and stir or swizzle until the edges of the tin become frosty. Garnish with fresh mint, berries and peach slices.

Peach Fizz

2 oz. Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine

1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Lavender Infused Agave (1:1 Ratio Agave and Water, steeped with Lavender for 20 Minutes)

1 Egg White

Top with Soda

Combine all ingredients except Soda water in a mixing glass Dry Shake (no ice) for 5-10 seconds, then add 2-3 large cubes of ice and shake another 5-10 seconds. Double strain into an Old-Fashioned Glass and then top off with soda water.

Lastly I tasted the Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine.

This was my favorite out of the two flavors I tasted.  It’s also 40 Proof, which allows for great mixing potential and when you taste it, you get the initial Moonshine flavor on your palate followed by the blackberry finish.  One of the cool things about this bottling, is that the blackberries are picked in the wild and then steeped in the Moonshine.

Blackberry Moonshine

Blackberry Bramble

2 oz. Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine

.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

4 Muddled Blackberries

Muddle the blackberries in an Old-Fashioned glass or Julep Tin. Add the Moonshine and Lemon Juice and then top off with crushed ice. Stir or swizzle until the glass becomes cold or the tin becomes frosty. Garnish with a mint sprig and some blackberries.

Run & Shine

2 oz. Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine

.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 Ratio sugar and water)

Top with Sparkling Rose

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake and then double strain into a 6 oz. Mason Jar (keeping it original here!) Top off with Sparkling Rose and garnish with 2 fresh blackberries and a lemon twist.


To sum things up, I liked these spirits.  You’re seeing more unaged whiskies and moonshine hit the market these days and it’s always nice to see some versatility.  The flavored moonshines are nice since they can open up a whole new category for people looking to expand their cocktail palate, especially if they only stick to Vodka and want to branch out.  The peach and blackberry would be great for light summer cocktails and can even fit in as a base for a Punch.  The 100 Proof White Lightnin can be pretty versatile itself.  The high proof allows it to be used in classic cocktails and not drop down below 8o proof with dilution, but it can be infused easily if you want to get creative with cocktails or use it to make some bitters.  My only issue with the bottling is that the Mason Jars are a little bit of a pain to pour without spilling.  If pour spouts could be used, it would make me a lot happier, but it wouldn’t stop me from buying the product!

Moonshine photo

~ by myamericandram on May 7, 2013.

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