We’ve had a lot of MGP whiskeys come through the shop, and we've tasted even more that we ended up not bringing into the shop. Not all MGP is created equal, and Smooth Ambler's long and consistent relationship with the distillery certainly seems to allow them some of the most prized barrels. But of course it's not just MGP, with Smooth Ambler in charge of most of the barrel management, and the barrels themselves custom made for them by the Independent Stave Company, air-seasoned for an especially long 18 months. All of these elements come together to keep us pretty optimistic when a chance to make a Smooth Ambler barrel pick comes our way.
This barrel, which we dubbed "Cherry & Cinnamon", is a pretty classic deep and lush bourbon, with a fantastic balance of brambly fruit and deep spice. On the nose you get chocolate cake with cherries, gingerbread, old wood (think grandma's bookshelves), orange oils, and assorted spice cabinet aromas. The palate is sharp but sweet, with herbal rye spice alongside cinnamon buns, cocoa, juicy stone fruits, cola, and orange marmalade. Aged for 5 years and bottled at 58.5% abv.