Smooth Ambler is a young craft distillery located in West Virginia , producing young spirit (Vodka, Gin and aged Gin), until its stock is old enough to be sold as whiskey. Like other distilleries it’s also sourcing Bourbon, Rye and Whiskey from older distilleries in bulk, and bottling those with their own label (disclosing it’s distilled elsewhere). I’ve heard good things about their spirits and fortunately for me, Sjoerd has included two expressions of theirs in the last American bottle share. It’s summer and quite hot in IL right now, so sipping some bourbons and whiskey is a good idea for August, and I’ve been doing just that for the last few weeks, a good timing to visit those two whiskeys, one Rye and one Bourbon. Let’s start with the rye, shall we?
A very Rye centric Mash Bill of consisting of 95% rye, 5% malted barley, bottled at a lovely 49,5% abv, and aged for 7 years…
Nose: Old school caramel candy leads to spicy minty and fennel-y backbone. A bit earthy and peppery too, with spices.
Palate:Starts quite sweet (surprising) with lots of sugars at first sip. Juicy. Then the pepper and mint kick in, this is a Rye after all, right? Hot. But sweet and thick.
Finish: Spicy and creamy sweet. Light mint and sugar.
A very nice whiskey for sure. It’s a Rye alright, packing the Rye-ish punch, but still balancing it with the sweetness and creaminess. Very good.
Nose: Not as spicy as the rye but it has hot that rye thing going on. Probably the relatively high rye mash bill does gave some effects. Creamier and sweeter. Damp wood and fresh varnish and sugar.
Palate: Fennel-y and peppery sweet on entry. Clearly more corn here. Darker and more sombre than the rye. Mint leaves and big dried fruit. Concentrated and lots of sugar impact. Acetone too. It’s very full. Big.
Finish : Long, peppery and sweet with the dried fruit lingering .
A very thick, Uber sweet whiskey, with a lot of flavour, and a good mouthfeel. Maybe a bit too sweet for me, and screaming for an addition of an ice cube (actually a good idea, especially in summer, but not only, as the water does help reduce the Big sweet sugar notes). Lovely stuff, at 50% too, which means, it packs a whole lot of flavours.
All in all very enjoyable whiskeys, with the Rye being my favourite, and a good choice of casks there (I wonder where it had been REALLY distilled). Would def. like to try the younger Bourbon at 7 years of age, if i have a chance. Cheers Sjoerd, for the good choice.
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