Experience Kingsport: Sip A Little Moonshine at Hook and Ladder Distillery

Tennessee is home to some of the best distilleries in the country. So, when you’re in TN, you’re always looking for an excellent moonshine tasting experience. Hook and Ladder Moonshine, Kingsport, has authentic Tennessee moonshine and expansive visitor experiences. It offers one of the best distillery tours in Tennessee. However, before indulging a Hook and Ladder moonshine tasting tour, keep reading. This ultimate guide will give you insights on what it entails and how to make the most of your visit.

Hook and Ladder Moonshine: Top of the Ladder

The family-owned Hook and Ladder Moonshine distillery lies between Church Circle and Center Street in Downtown Kingsport. The distillery started as a dream between a father and a son who set out to make fine moonshine. Drew Draper dedicated himself to mastering his craft since he was 17. Of course, back then moonshine was still illegal in Tennessee. Interestingly, when Drew turned 21, the ban on moonshine was lifted, allowing him to pursue his lifelong passion. 

He shared his ambition with his father, Kenneth Draper, a decorated Senior Captain in the Kingsport Fire Department. Fortunately, Drew’s father was enthusiastic about the proposal and eager to support him. So the duo decided to open a moonshine distillery that offers superior quality shine than is currently available.

When the time came to officially choose a name, the duo wanted to pay tribute to firefighters nationwide. They named it Hook and Ladder Distillery Moonshine.

Sample Nine Flavors of High-Proof Distilled Moonshine

The distillery tour takes place inside a small, yet warmly lit main building of Hook and Ladder Distillery. As visitors arrive, the air is heavy with the scent of yeast reminiscent of fresh bread. The wall is filled with firefighting memorabilia honoring all firefighters who served. 

Visitors can tour the facility and sample the various spirits crafted using an old, thumper-style still. There’s an in-depth tasting as the friendly owners guide you through the workings of their still-pot.

Many describe Hook and Ladder moonshine flavors in such glowing terms as “amazing,” “really good,” and “well crafted.” Hook & Ladder Moonshine offers nine flavors for sampling, including 140 proof straight shine, 100 proof straight shine, salted caramel, honey, mango, and more.

100 Proof Original Recipe Moonshine

The award-winning 100 Proof Original Recipe Moonshine boasts a distinct flavor. It is uniquely crafted by diluting the distillery’s 140 Fire Shine with filtered water. This reduces its sweetness and elevates the mash’s classic corn and oat notes. 

Taste: Corn and oats

140 Fire Moonshine

With its sweet hints of molasses and soy mill, the 140 Fire Moonshine is sure to start a fire rather than finish one. It is raw, sweet, and smooth. The sweet flavors glide down smoothly and finish with a refreshing crispness. 

Taste: Sweet taste of molasses and soy mill

Finish: Smooth, clean

Honey Moonshine

Hook and Ladder’s Honey Moonshine is crafted with a meticulous blend of clover honey and their award-winning 100 Proof Original Recipe Moonshine for great tasting. The inherent sweetness of clover blends well with the moonshine’s mash of corn and oats. Whether mixed with champagne or soda, Honey Moonshine is an excellent choice for a sip.

Taste: Clover honey and sweet grain moonshine

Private Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

This whiskey is aged in small to medium charred white oak barrels. Once distilled, they add 140 Fire moonshine and let it age for a year. The result is an exquisite blend of caramel sweetness and silky charred oak notes. Private Reserve Bourbon Whiskey will light your fire.

Taste: Sweet notes of caramel and charred oak, light on smoke

Finish: Smooth

Mango Moonshine

Indulge in the delicious Mango Moonshine from Hook and Ladder Distillery. The Mango Moonshine blends 100 Proof Original Recipe Moonshine and all-natural mango flavoring. This creates an unforgettable experience with every sip. Get ready for an irresistible treat with its delicious tropical taste. 

Taste: Mango and sweet grain moonshine

Cinnaburn Moonshine

The award-winning Cinnaburn Moonshine boasts a delectable flavor that will tantalize your taste buds. It combines vanilla and cinnamon in perfect harmony for a delightful experience. This moonshine boasts warm and sweet flavors reminiscent of a freshly baked cinnamon bun straight out of the oven. The Hook and Ladder Cinnaburn Moonshine can be sipped on its own or mixed in a cocktail.

Taste: Cinnamon, vanilla

Salted Caramel Moonshine

The Salted Caramel Moonshine is a blend of the subtly salty-sweet flavor of indulgent salted caramels. It is crafted using 100 Proof Original Recipe Moonshine with natural caramel flavoring and real salt. This delivers an unforgettable drinking experience with each sip. The Salted Caramel Moonshine is a perfect combination of fire and lightning that’ll leave your taste buds craving more.

Taste: caramel, salt

Finish: Smooth and delectable

BackDraft Spiced Rum

The BackDraft Spiced Rum is distilled twice from fermented molasses and cane sugar. It is a long production process that takes up to 9 months. Initially, the rum is refined in a pot still and subsequently filtered through carbon in a 6-plated column still. The spirit is then aged for six months in white oak barrels and three months in a newly opened gallon barrel. The final stage involves infusing the rum with natural spices, such as Madagascar vanilla bean, dried apricots, or Jamaican allspice. If desired, the BlackDraft Rum can be garnished with coffee and cinnamon.

Taste: Vanilla, orange, sweet grain molasses

First Alarm Vodka

Hear the alarm? Heed the call. Hook and Ladder’s award-winning First Alarm Vodka boasts a smooth and rich flavor. With a refined finish, you’ll relish this vodka’s refreshing and pure flavor. One sip is all it takes to recognize the superior quality of this spirit. You can enjoy it either neat or mix to create your favorite drink.

Taste: Toffee, vanilla

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Hook and Ladder Distillery open?

Hook and Ladder Moonshine free tastings or distillery tours are available during regular business hours. Call the distillery beforehand to arrange the tour if you are a large group.

What hotels are near Hook and Ladder Distillery?

If you’ve visited Hook and Ladder to sip their moonshine flavors, stop by these hotels to enjoy a healthy dose of Southern hospitality. 

  • Historic home in downtown Kingsport
  • Hampton Inn Kingsport
  • MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Kingsport
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kingsport.

Fun Things to Do in Kingsport, TN

With a theme that pays homage to firefighters, Hook & Ladder offers one of the best distillery tours and moonshine tasting experiences. However, Kingsport offers more than just distillery tours. While in the city, explore top-notch attractions and incredible natural wonders, such as Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, Warriors Path State Park, and the Kingsport Aquatic Center.

To learn more about the best distillery tours nearby, visit our DistilleryNearby home page.

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