“WV Spirits” – Smooth AmblerNovember 9, 2011
As much as rifles and hunting are a part of WV heritage, so are spirits, (and we don’t mean ghosts).
Look at any depiction of a mountain man, and you will probably see a jug somewhere in the picture
that represented their preferred drink. Shine, moonshine, white lightening, mountain dew and branch water are just some of the names used to describe that illegally distilled spirit, white whiskey.
Smooth Ambler produces three distinctly different spirits: Vodka, Gin and White Whiskey. Even though these spirits are all different, they are derived pretty much the same way; by distilling a fermented product. Smooth Ambler understands that in order to make a great spirit you need exceptional grains and exceptional water. The rest is the work of the craftsman.
The location of Smooth Ambler is essential to part of the process. The mountains of West Virginia are the source of some of the purest water anywhere in the US. Smooth Ambler has a distinct advantage of having great water within minutes of its operation.
Smooth Ambler’s dedication to the WV tradition of White Whiskey may be a bit “corn-fusing” to some, so let’s elaborate a bit.
All whiskey is white when it is first distilled. The mash is made from corn, and when the process is
finished you are left with a completely clear liquid. What gives whiskey its caramel color and a lot of its distinct flavor is the process of aging it in oak barrels that have had the insides charred. The taste and smoothness associated with many whiskeys is due to the length of time it spends in the barrels.
Since Smooth Amblers whiskey doesn’t include the oak barrel process, it has to rely on great water, grain and knowledge to produce a smooth, drinkable spirit. Just like the spirits that have been made here in the mountains of WV for many, many, years.
Small Batch Excellence
A good rule of thumb is that anytime you have the choice of something handcrafted or mass produced, odds are better that the handcrafted product will be the better choice.
Each bottle produced at Smooth Ambler gets a handwritten batch and bottle number, and the company tells you who inspected that bottle before it was allowed to go out the door. It’s a great way to feel connected to the people who made your bottle of Smooth Ambler.
Today, you can visit Smooth Ambler for tours and tastings. Have you been?