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What happened to Jim Tom on Moonshiners? Rye whiskey explored

Jim Tom is better known for being a cast member on Moonshiners, but his absence has not gone amiss for fans tuning in recently.

The new season of Master Distillers and Moonshiners: Smoke Ring has launched, however the much-loved Jim Tom is nowhere to be seen.

Some viewers are concerned for the Moonshiners’ whereabouts, with the now-debunked theory from a few thinking he might no longer be alive.

We began digging into where Jim Tom is now – including the latest public video of him – and why he left the Discovery show.

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What happened to Jim Tom?

Jim Tom, the “Rye Daddy”, left Moonshiners has reportedly gone “mostly legitimate” in the making of his well-known “Unaged Rye”.

He teamed up with Mark and Digger to create the Sugarlands Distilling Company, continuing to help them out just like on the show.

Despite some fans thinking Jim may have died, this is not the case at all.

He has just moved into a proper Moonshine business rather than participating in the usual illegal ways of making it on the show.

His last appearance on the show was in 2016, when he helped cast member Josh after his split with partner Bill.

Jim Tom’s rye whiskey

Still making his signature Moonshine today, fans can purchase his unaged rye for themselves when available. At the moment, it is sold out.

Several fans say that Jim Tom’s signature drink is the “best rye whiskey” out there, and it continues to be a popular flavour now.

The unaged rye whiskey by Jim Tom has had many awards, including:

  • Bronze medal from American Distilling Institute
  • Silver medals from LA International Spirits Competition and Beverage Testing Institute
  • Gold medal in San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • Double gold in Fifty Best
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Where is Jim Tom Hendrick now?

Jim Tom is now “passing his lifetime of experience on to a new generation of distillers”, according to the Sugarlands website.

As one of the most skilled moonshiners in Appalachian, he continues to be a living legend in the Moonshine industry.

He is now close to turning 90 years old, with a $200,000 net worth!

The Moonshining legend is also thought to still be a ladies’ man… and drives a 50cc Cruiser Chopper bike.



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Celine is a journalist with over five years of experience in the media industry and the chief staff writer on Reality Titbit. After graduating with a degree in Multimedia Journalism she became a radio newsreader and reporter, before moving into her current role as a reality TV writer.