- Brand: Smooth Ambler
- ABV: 59.6%
This is the last of a very generous birthday gift from @Nozinan. Smooth Ambler Spirits is a micro-distillery based in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. I don't know for sure if they distilled this though - the bottle says it is a curated whisky that was "scouted" (hence the name). After resting in barrel no. 3301 for ten years, it was bottled by Sarah on June 10 2016 (yes, Sarah signed her name as the bottler - that's pretty cool).
The colour is a medium-to-dark copper. On the nose we have deep, rich tobacco, dark mint chocolate, Demerara sugar and wet campfire. Very oaky after ten years. Beautiful herbal top notes. Malt vinegar. Blackberry jam. Rich, fruity and oaky but with a gentle breeze through an herb garden, blowing right in the middle. That herb garden gets closer with a drop of water. Works beautifully.
The palate is hot with mouth-pulling oak, overstepped tea, more jammy fruits and rum-raisin. Cayenne pepper is there but it's not overwhelming. Reminiscent of a George T. Stagg if it were lower proof. The palate doesn't quite have the complexity of the nose but it is still stunning - if you add water though it smooths out and brings out those herbs and chocolates that were dominated by the oak and heat.
The finish is nutmeg, liquorice all-sorts and twice-lit cigar. This is a beautiful bourbon, rich and full of complexity. The palate neat was a bit too overpowering but overall this is a very rich and satisfying bourbon. I wish I had other single barrels from them to compare it to.