November 13, 2015

Smooth Ambler Limited Edition Single Barrel 10 Year Rye!!!

Ok, spoiler alert, this is the start of several seriously drool-worthy weeks of whiskey reviews.  Come on, we're getting into holiday season here, what else would you expect from your faithful beasts??  Getting right into the fun, we want to start things off with something that we're totally out of our seat bonkers to taste.

So if you've been following along, you'll know that we bought a barrel of rye from Smooth Ambler this year.  And it was awesome.  Seriously not to toot our own horn (trigger massive hip-hop DJ-style air horn) since we had nothing to do with the whiskey except tasting and buying it, but it really rocked.  We were thrilled.

Then there was some bad news.  Smooth Ambler was discontinuing the single barrel rye program (bourbons are still on the truck) and from now on single barrel ryes would only be available as very limited releases from the gift shop at the distillery.  The first bottle dropped last month and was sold out in a matter of hours.  Really sad news, considering how awesome some of these rye barrels tasted.

Then we got a call from one of SmokyBeast's most incredible patron saints (we'll leave his name out to prevent the maelstrom of texts and Facebook messages he would no doubt receive asking for similar treatment).  He had a friend who'd been in line at Smooth Ambler and had scored us a bottle!  To quote Bruno Mars "Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo)! Girls hit your hallelujah (whoo)!!!"

So without further ado, the first release of Smooth Ambler Limited Edition 10-Year Single Barrel Rye!

Tasting Notes

Nose:  Holy piny mint forest. This is a really interesting crisp spicy mint.  It's not a rich, back of the throat vanilla / baking spice smell, it's more of an upfront snappy wood, mint, and orange peels type of thing.

Palate: Wow very balanced, so light for the monster 124.4 proof, with some real complexity here that you don't often get from an MGP(i) whiskey.  There's a ton more orange / citrus going on, moving from the mint in the nose to some black pepper and cinnamon.


Clearly a barrel pick from someone (John Little) who's tasted his share of barrels.  Make that his share, your share, my share, and then some.  It's a really nice bottle with a great mix of lightness, spice, mint, wood, and sweets.  Bravo for the first gift shop bottle.  Hoping to get our chance to taste future releases!

Stay tuned next week for a serious hum-dinger in the single malt department (think Islay, think our favorite living distillery, think extremely limited release, think gettin' funky!).



  1. Have you tried the new Astor SAOS Single Barrel Rye - I believe it is a 9 yo.? I just picked up a bottle - I'm a fellow NYC-er and stop in there frequently to see what is on offer....

    1. Seriously one of the best SAOS in recent memory. Crack dat shit! Hehe.

    2. Are you referring to the SC 799?

    3. Hi Chris,

      799 is definitely no slouch, great bottle, but no we're talking about #187 which sold out at Astor in about a week last month: