Jim Tom Hedrick, who also starred mainly in Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners, died at the age of 82 of kidney cancer.
Sugarlands Shine Distillery, the moonshine distillery company featured on Moonshiners, posted a statement on Instagram, writing, “Jim Tom dedicated much of his life to the art of moonshining, becoming a legend in Appalachia along the way.”
“Jim Tom’s well-earned reputation as one of the most skilled moonshiners in the South earned him a role on the hit television program ‘Moonshiners,’ where his colourful personality endeared Jim Tom to the hearts of millions.”
“Jim Tom touched the lives of countless individuals and was especially eager to pass along his lifetime of moonshining knowledge to a new generation of distillers, ensuring the craft would endure,” the statement added.
Hedrick debuted in Moonshiners Season 2 in 2012 and remained a part of the show until 2017.
He was admired for his distinctive storytelling techniques and was considered “one of the most skilled moonshiners in Appalachia” because “his original hand-craft spirits were in high demand throughout the South,” according to the Sugarlands website.
President and founder of Sugarlands regarded Hedrick as “one of the first veteran moonshiners to truly embrace Sugarlands when we opened our doors.”
He added, “Gaining the stamp of approval from Jim Tom was instrumental in shaping the authenticity of Sugarlands, and we’re forever indebted to his support and friendship.”