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moonshine tasting samples at Junction 35 in Pigeon Forge

Moonshine vs. Whiskey: What’s the Difference?

At Junction 35 Spirits, we offer a variety of high-quality spirits, including moonshine and whiskey! If you’re new to the world of spirits, you may be wondering — what’s the difference between them? We’re here to help you clear up any confusion about which is which, what to expect when you drink either of them, and what you can find when you visit our distilleries in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville! Here’s everything you need to know about moonshine vs. whiskey:

What is Whiskey?

bottles of cinnamon whiskey at junction 35 spirits

Whiskey is a distilled alcohol that’s manufactured from fermented grain mash. Corn, barley, wheat, rye, or other grains are mostly used. Oftentimes, whiskey is matured in wooden barrels, which contribute to its color and taste. That’s why there’s no single flavor that’s associated with whiskey. The process of making whiskey starts with preparation, during which the grains are malted and then milled, mashing, during which the grains are ground and warm water is added to extract sugars, and fermentation, during which yeast is added, which converts the sugars released into alcohol. After that, heated metal stills are used to vaporize the alcohol, then it’s aged in wooden barrels (typically for 3 years or more), then it’s bottled!

What is Moonshine?

Making moonshine started early in American history when the U.S. government imposed a tax on whiskey and spirits. In the past, there was never an absolute definition of what constituted moonshine. It’s generally considered to be a clear, unaged whiskey with a corn base. Ingredients mostly included corn, rye, and sugar, although it can be made with anything that ferments. The majority of moonshine found in the south is created from maize, and because of its commonalities to whiskey in the distillation process, it’s identical to corn whiskey.

What Can I Find at Junction 35 Spirits?

cocktails at Junction 35 Spirits

When you visit Junction 35 Spirits, you can try (and buy!) both moonshine and whiskey! We have a unique variety of flavored whiskeys and moonshines. When you’re trying to decide on moonshine vs. whiskey, we can help. Enjoy a $5 tasting with us and get a sample of both to see which you like better. You can sample our original moonshine and our straight rye whiskey for the true test of which is better, then enjoy some of our flavored shine and whiskey! Popular moonshine flavors at our distillery are Apple Pie, Margarita, and Orange. Popular whiskey flavors at our distillery are Honey, Black Cherry, and Caramel Apple. Decide which one you like the best, and purchase a bottle (or more!) to take back home with you! After your tasting, be sure to head to our bar to try one of our handcrafted cocktails made with moonshine or whiskey. We recommend our Barrel Aged Old Fashioned, made with Junction 35 Straight Bourbon Whiskey, or Sour Gummy Worm, made with our Sour Gummy Worm Moonshine!

In addition to moonshine and whiskey, we also make and sell our own bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, and tequila. You can taste them all at our sampling counter, or head to our bar to try them in a handcrafted cocktail!

When it comes to moonshine vs. whiskey, there’s no better place to decide which one you like better than at Junction 35 Spirits. Learn more about the spirits we offer, then come visit us to try them for yourselves!