From science to spirits: Chattanooga teacher featured on 'Moonshiners: Master Distiller'

Emily Crisman, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.
·2 min read

Mar. 14—Local science teacher and football coach Scott Moore is adding moonshiner to his resume after being featured on a recent episode of the Discovery TV show "Moonshiners: Master Distiller."

Moore said he has a history of moonshining in his family, evidenced by 40-year-old bottles he has found of the spirit made by his stepfather's grandfather. But it was the Discovery reality show, which features bootleggers from the Appalachian region, that sparked his interest in making his own white lightning.

Several years ago he attended a class focused on moonshine taught by Dalton Distillery owner Chuck Butler and has dreamed of starting his own distillery ever since.

A friend suggested he apply to compete on "Moonshiners: Master Distiller," in which show stars Mark, Digger and Tim judge amateur distillers as they compete to craft various spirits.

On Moore's episode, he competed against two other distillers in a challenge to distill the best handcrafted vodka. Contestants are told beforehand what spirit they will make on the show, and Moore said he worked to finesse his recipe at Dalton Distillery before filming.

Although his pineapple-jalapeno flavored vodka was not the winning spirit, its taste did not go unnoticed.

"The judges absolutely loved it," Moore said of his vodka, which he had to distill in a four-hour time period while being filmed. "[show judge] Mark Ramsey said it was one of the best he'd ever had."

Moore's recipe combined corn, barley and wheat, and he said the latter is what gave his vodka its smooth taste.

While the show's challenge involved vodka, moonshine is the spirit he plans to distill — legally — with his recently established business, Rebellion Spirit Company.

He plans to call his moonshine Spider Bite, a name inspired by the prominent spider tattoo on his bicep that the show's viewers will recognize. Moore said initially he will launch an unflavored moonshine as well as a mango-habanero flavored variety.

Spider Bite will be distilled and bottled at Dalton Distillery to start, but he hopes to eventually open his own distillery. He's in talks with local distributor Athens Distributing about getting Spider Bite stocked on shelves of local stores this summer, he said.

The episode of "Moonshiners: Master Distiller" featuring Moore aired in February and is available to watch any time on Discovery Plus.

Contact Emily Crisman at 423-309-3071 or ecrisman@timesfreepress.com.