Who is the most famous moonshiner?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton is often regarded as one of the most famous moonshiners in history. Born in Haywood County, North Carolina in 1946, Sutton became a legendary figure within the moonshining community due to his unique personality, his high-quality moonshine, and his run-ins with the law.

Sutton’s story gained widespread attention in the late 1990s and early 2000s when he started self-publishing books about moonshining. His most well-known book, “Me and My Likker,” served as a memoir and guide to making moonshine. In this book, Sutton shared not only his knowledge of the moonshining process but also tales of his own experiences and encounters with the law.

What made Sutton particularly fascinating was his larger-than-life persona. He was known for his distinctive Appalachian accent, his long white beard, and his trademark cowboy hat. Sutton embraced the image of a rebellious outlaw, and he became an icon for those who romanticized the moonshining culture.

His moonshine, often referred to as “Sutton’s Original Tennessee White Whiskey,” was highly sought after for its quality and authenticity. Sutton was known for using traditional methods and his own secret recipe, resulting in a smooth and potent spirit. The demand for his moonshine grew, and people from all over the country sought out Sutton’s product.

However, Sutton’s moonshining activities also brought him into conflict with the law. He was repeatedly arrested and convicted for illegal distillation, serving multiple prison sentences throughout his life. Despite these setbacks, Sutton remained defiant and continued to produce moonshine even after his release from prison.

Tragically, Sutton’s life came to a rather dramatic end. In 2009, facing another lengthy prison sentence, Sutton chose to take his own life rather than be incarcerated. His death only heightened his status as a legendary figure, and his story became even more compelling to those fascinated by the world of moonshining.

Today, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton is remembered as a symbol of the Appalachian moonshining tradition. His life, persona, moonshine, and ultimately, his untimely death have become the stuff of legend. His story has been immortalized in books, documentaries, and even a fictionalized portrayal in the TV series “Justified.”

Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton is widely regarded as the most famous moonshiner due to his unique personality, his high-quality moonshine, and his captivating life story. His legacy continues to inspire and intrigue those who are captivated by the allure of moonshining and the rebellious spirit it represents.