West Virginia may not be known for its bourbon (perhaps better known for its moonshine), but Smooth Ambler has nonetheless made a name for itself among American Whiskeys as a consistently good producer.
Having passed it over many a time to go the more traditional route of the Kentucky bourbon, I finally decided to give this bottle a try.
The first thing I noticed is the vivid reddish bronze color of the whiskey. Certainly bourbons are a darker whiskey, but this had an auburn quality about it that had me intrigued.
The nose was notably fruity, with pronounced apples and almonds in the aroma. I liken it to a fruitier almond liqueur smell.
On the tongue, though, the high rye content of the mashbill stood out. It also had an up-front flavor of cooked cherries. The finish had hints of mint with a spiciness at the back end to complement its mild sweetness on the front end.
There was nothing eye-popping about this whiskey. Nonetheless, I found myself really enjoying it, particularly the father down I got in the bottle. The first pour came across as ordinary. However, with each subsequent pour, the whiskey smoothed out considerably and took on a buttery flavor that was unexpected (and the nose smelled unmistakably like my wife's Shea butter lotion, as odd as that may be).
It's a very warming pour that I could really enjoy during the winter months, and I look forward to trying other products in the Smooth Ambler line.