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Legal Moonshine in East Tennessee

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Photo by Shawn Poynter

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  • MOUNTAIN STILL: Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey has just added Tennessee Moonshine to its line of beverages, joining other area distillers in the still-growing market for legal white lightning.
  • WHISKEY WIZARD: Master distiller Steve Boesch oversees operations at Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey in Gatlinburg.
  • Master distiller Justin King gives Ole Smoky's product a taste test.
  • MASONRY: Employees bottle moonshine at the market-leading Ole Smoky distillery, which expects to sell 250,000 cases this year.
  • SHINING EXAMPLES: Ole Smokey’s David Velazquez hands out free samples at the Gatlinburg distillery.
  • TOURIST DRAW: Steve and Trudy Gerena (far left to right) and Shane and Jame Campbell partake some of the different flavored moonshines offered at the Ole Smoky distillery in Gatlinburg.
  • THE GODFATHER: Moonshine became a pop culture fixture this century with the 2002 documentary This Is the Last Dam Run of Likker I’ll Ever Make, featuring the charismatic Cocke County moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton.
  • A REGIONAL TRADITION: Daniel Pierce, chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and author of 'Corn From a Jar,' says while many of the new distillers may adhere to old techniques, moonshine’s allure also lies in its romantic, illicit image.
  • 'Corn From a Jar,' by Daniel Pierce, looks at the history of moonshine in the Smoky Mountains.

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