THE “FLOW & GLOW” OF “SUGARLANDING!”
By Michael Cohan
Laguna Woods,(Spiritsman)11/16/15/–Have you been able to land or be landed by one of the newest and best moonshine whiskeys to hit this booming market recently? Then step right up and pucker right up to the Mason Jars of the Sugarlands Distilling Company located in the Great Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This bit of country is difficult to access with deep remote gorges, an area of ill fame which was sparsely populated so it was aptly named “Moonshiner’s Paradise” by Horace Kephart from the Southern Highlanders in 1913.
Since the distillery opened in March 2014 they have already seen more than 1 million visitors making them the #2 destination in the area next to its National Park ranked by TripAdvisor.com. This location is a sought after spot for spirits enthusiasts as Gatlinburg is home to a number of distilleries and wineries.
According to its website, the Sugarlands distillery experience has received the most five-star reviews making it the most celebrated distillery in America. Only Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland had more five-star reviews internationally in October 2015.
Presently they have released announcements of an expansive whiskey campaign that will produce traditional and modern offerings to their current market of 19 states and beyond. Visitors to the Distillery can experience free all nine flavors of its prime-guzzling Sugarlands Shine if they can make it through them all. Y’all tour the still house, enjoy the Appalachian storytelling and listen to live Americana, bluegrass and country music.
I will have the pleasure of sharing with you three of their Moonshine “Stories in every jar.” Let me explain that in order to fully enjoy these liquors my preference is to savor them from the Mason jar directly! This is where the reviewer feels you will envelope the nose and finish in its purist form and create your own personal story.
The first being its Silver Cloud sour mash moonshine brand. The website describes this concoction as having a soft flow and subtleness. It’s anything but that! The nose will hit you hard but pass that and you become compelled by its sweet delicious scent and then the shine will envelope all of your astral senses. The texture is uniform throughout and finishes off the same way it started. With a kick weaving your dreams into the skies, much like Gary Wright’s song, “Dream Weaver” from 1976. The burn y’all feel from this “flow and glow” liquid gold will definitely send you farther beyond the Silver Cloud.
To keep the glow flowing their second moonshine installment, in personal drinking order, would be one of three different spirits from their Moonshiners Legend Series. You see in the olden days this region of the Sugarlands had many illegal moonshiners trying to claim their spot of notoriety and one of those would be Jim Tom Hedrick from North Carolina. So Sugarlands Distilling partnered with Lost Spirits Technology of California to develop a rye whiskey by using a modern aging reactor called THEA one. This reactor has the ability of duplicating the chemical make up and taste profile of a 20-year-old rye whiskey in just 6 to 8 days.
So Jim Tom’s Signature Moonshine Unaged Rye was born to create that warming bite of goodness that will just “flow and glow” your thirsty senses. The nose is not as pungent as the Silver Cloud until that bite just hits the back of your throat! It is definitely warming during the finish as well. This reviewer does not taste the spiciness of the rye but you can certainly enjoy the flavors of the authentic cane sugar and mountain grains. Among the other Moonshiners of the Sugarlands Series are legendary Mark Rogers and Steve Tickle. These three magic moonshiners have been part of the cast of the show “Moonshiners” that has been on the Discovery Channel since 2010. I hope to be reviewing the rest of the Series so I can deliver to you Mark’s and Steve’s versions.
For now my final “Stories in every jar” segment will be a lighter and sweeter style called Appalachian Apple Pie Moonshine. The texture is cough syrupy but with a delicious apple crispy finish but this reviewer can’t make out the lemon zest due to the heavy lingering of the caramel. I think a little dust of cinnamon in here would go a long way. This fall flavor would make a great complement as part of your Thanksgiving feast! Visit their website to locate some fine-tasting cocktails for all of their different brands.
In conclusion, I just have to say that sometimes you can say a lot about something and sometimes you don’t have to. The “Stories in every Jar” can be completed in a few sentences and sometimes in a couple of paragraphs. The point of all this is to inform the public of what’s out there while being as descriptive as you can in a concise manner. It’s just a matter of taste and choice of words.
Pricing for the moonshine is hard to find on the west coast but they are planning on expanding all over the U.S. Availability of the product is generally east of the Mississippi so if you know a zip code for one of the states they advertise on their site you may be able to price and order their shining liquids to experience the flow and the glow! If it’s time for a vacation then plan a visit to their beautiful facility to enjoy all the festivities of the Sugarlands Distilling Company and their fine moonshine first hand. Y’all go and get Sugarlanded now!
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211