Smooth Ambler "Big Level" Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) (Previously $55)

SKU #1360827 Whisky Advocate

 The name should give some indication: this is a big, brawny whiskey. Aromas of orange peel, iced tea, toasted coconut, peanut, honey, and molasses spar with grain and dry firewood. The palate delivers oak, more grain, orange oil, menthol, roasted nuts, iced tea, cherries, and cola. Tobacco, leathery oak, and bitter chocolate tie everything together on the finish, which is especially enjoyable with a few drops of water added. (SSB, Fall 2018)

K&L Notes

Smooth Ambler's Big Level Bourbon is a unique wheated bourbon, meaning after the requisite base of corn (in this case 71%) the next largest contribution to the mashbill is 21% wheat followed by 8% malted barley. It's entirely mashed, distilled, aged, proofed, and bottled at the Smooth Ambler distillery in West Virginia and does not undergo chill filtration. That high portion of corn and wheat makes for - you guessed it - a rather smooth and elegant bourbon! Its relatively young age (5+ years) gives it a jovial, fresh edge. Gentle flavors of caramel, pound cake, toffee, brownie and candied nuts waft through, and there is a lingering bright finish.

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Product Reviews:

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By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2018 | Send Email
This new whiskey from Smooth Ambler one tasty sipper! Smooth Ambler has been known for putting out tasty sourced/blended whiskeys for a while, but in recent years they’ve been ramping up production at their own distillery in West Virginia. Big Level marks a big step forward as a wheated Bourbon 100% distilled by Smooth Ambler. The whiskey in Big Level is at least 5 years old with a mashbill of 71% corn, 21% wheat, and 8% malted barley and comes in at 100 proof. The nose is doughy with delicious notes of fresh-baked apple pie, toffee, and coconut. The flavors are just as soft and robust with rich vanilla, brioche, and nuttiness along with an approachable cedar wood note and medium-long finish.

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2018 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
The heavy on corn and wheat bill gives us a rich and creamy caramel and maple laced Bourbon that is remarkably smooth and gentle for a 100 proof whiskey. Less spice and more bright edges, with a long and seductive finish. This one was hard to put down even tasting at work!
Top Value!

By: Chantel Carroll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2018 | Send Email
I'm delighted with this Bourbon!! The nose is so welcoming, and comforting. Caramel, cinnamon, Tahitian Vanilla, and baked apples and pears. As the nose opened up a bit, I smelled fresh baked biscuit, dripping with warm butter and topped with hot maple syrup. The palate was just as wonderful, smooth, rich and creamy. Coaco powder and a sandalwood and green apple lingered on the finish.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2018 | Send Email
This is what we've been waiting for. Smooth Ambler has finally released a bottling that is 100% their own juice. The Contradiction bottling, which contained some of their own distillate and some Indiana whiskey was a sneak peak and the greatness that is The Big Level. It's hard to miss the nose here. When you pour yourself a glass you'll smell it long before you raise it to your lips. It's incredibly inviting - full of sugar, spice, and everything nice. Cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel dominate, while an easy fresh pepper hides in the background. The palate is full blown wheater: creamy, rich, and textural. The sweet corn that makes up the bulk of the mashbill really shines on the finish. Bottled at 100 proof, that finish lasts for a mighty long time. This release marks a new era in American Whiskey. As the original "craft distilleries" finally come online with their own product at respectable ages, the world of brown water is about to get a lot more interesting. Get on the Big Level and find out for yourself.

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United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Alcohol Content (%): 50