West Tennessee is dotted with sleepy little farming towns but not many of them have a moonshine distillery (legit that is). Trimble has a population just north of 600 and is surrounded by miles of corn and soybean fields.
They say you can never go home again but Micheal Ballard did and may end up being responsible for saving the town he grew up in. Labeled "little Al Capone" at a young age, he left Trimble and opened up the world's largest biker bar, Full Throttle Saloon. When he decided to open a moonshine distillery, he picked his hometown and they welcomed him with open arms.
The distillery has a tasting room and store that is open all the time.
Free tastings come after you buy a shot glass for $4.99.
You get to try all the flavors served up by Rose. After about five minutes with her, you will wish the two of you were neighbors and that's before you've had any moonshine!
I have to say, for me drinking moonshine straight has always been an exercise in masochism except there was never any pleasure in the pain. This moonshine, however, was smooth as silk and went down like a dream. That can be a good thing or a bad thing!
The favorite was the platinum which is made and bottled in the distillery next door. We picked up an autographed bottle. They also sell jars chilled and ready to go.
There aren't any set hours for the distillery tours but lucky for us it was open so we headed on over for our lesson in distilling and the story behind Full Throttle S'loonshine.
Sherry gave us the lowdown on all things S'loonshine. She was so welcoming it was like we were in her living room just with a still in it!
Michael is delving into aging whiskey.
This barrel he is giving to his daughter for her 21st birthday. How cool is that!!
The bottling is all done by hand for what is sold in the store. The rest of the bottling is done in Nashville.
After a few samples and the tour we were ready for some grub. Miss Vicki's is the (only) answer, but it's a good one.
It's was named after Michael's late sister and serves up massive plates of southern favorites. The fried green tomatoes were especially good and we had to get a box for the leftover BBQ.
Bellies full, we headed over to the cotton-gin-office-turned-gift-shop, the Covered Bridge Mercantile.
It is owned by Virginia Parks Williamson whose family owns the building. They also donated to the town the covered bridge that the shop is named after.
You will see the name Parks on pretty much everything around town so she is a good person to talk to about all things Trimble.
Inside the shop you will find new and vintage items and moonshine themed gifts.
The best part of the shop is in the way back where Virginia has her photographs of blues legends like Pine Top Perkins and David "Honey Boy" Edwards.
On the way out of town we stopped by Parks Cemetery Ridge to pay our respects.
Word is this is the largest Confederate flag in existence. It was donated to the site by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and it's the first thing you see when you come into town.
Dixie is alive and well in Trimble!
But they still treat you nice even if you are a Yankee!