Smooth Ambler Distillery is in Maxwelton, West Virginia. I first met John Little, the distiller and founder of Smooth Ambler, at an event in Charlotte, North Carolina several years ago. He is an impressive distiller, best known for his Contradiction Whiskeys that are a blend of their own whiskey and sourced whiskey. I was excited when I saw him at the same event in North Carolina this year and tasted his Founder Series Bourbon. It is 100% made at their distillery and it is very good whiskey. He sent me a bottle of it for review and Matt and I sat down and tased it. Here are our tasting notes.

Smooth Ambler Founders Cask Strength Series Bourbon

Proof: 122.6

Age: Six Years Old


  • Mike: French vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg spice, oak wood.
  • Matt: Vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper spice and oak wood.


  • Mike: Vanilla, blackberry and raspberry fruit, cinnamon spice and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the cinnamon and oak are enhanced. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla and berries are enhanced.
  • Matt: Vanilla and brown sugar, blackberry cobbler, nutmeg and oak wood. The dried cranberry brought out caramel and pepper jelly. The pecan brought out some ginger spice.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak, cinnamon and lingering berry tartness. The dried cranberry made the finish very spicy. The pecan made the finish longer with lingering vanilla sweetness.
  • Matt: Medium long with oak, cayenne, ginger, nutmeg and lingering brown sugar sweetness. The dried cranberry made the finish very spicy with cayenne pepper jelly, ginger and oak wood. The pecan brought out a note of tobacco, with oak and ginger.

I would pair this fine Bourbon whiskey with a Temperance Whiskey Rebellion cigar. The vanilla and cedar spice of the smoke would pair well with the spice in the Bourbon.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller