Smooth Ambler Distillery in West Virginia, has built the Contradiction brand upon sourcing whiskey and marrying it with whiskey they have made themselves. The Master Distiller, John Little, has said the brand is so successful, that he is going to continue to make the whiskey in the same way even though they have aged whiskey of their own to put into the bottle. You can’t argue with success. I received a bottle of the Contradiction Rye back in December and Matt and I sat down and tasted it. Here are our tasting notes.

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Rye

Proof: 105

Age: No Age Statement


  • Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, chocolate, baking spices and oak wood.
  • Matt: Rye grass, peaches, citrus, vanilla and oak wood.


  • Mike: Rye grass, orange zest, tangerine, allspice, and oak wood.  Tasted with a dried cranberry and  the citrus and spices are enhanced. Tasted with a pecan and the chocolate is enhanced and cinnamon spice comes out in the flavor.
  • Matt: Vanilla, peach pie with cinnamon spice and oak wood. The dried cranberry brought out the rye grass and caramel and made the peach a bit tart. The pecan brought out flavors of dates and buttered pecan.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak and allspice. The dried cranberry added a little lingering citrus flavor. The pecan made the finish very long with oak, spice and lingering chocolate and citrus notes.
  • Matt: Medium long with vanilla, cinnamon and lingering peach flavor. The dried cranberry made the lingering peach a little tart. The pecan made the finish very buttery with oak and cinnamon.

I would pair this fine rye whiskey with a cigar that has a lot of vanilla in the smoke. I would reach for a Timeless Pan Americana cigar.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller