Everybody knows some of the world’s best Bourbon is made right in the heart of…West Virginia? You betcha! On a recent weekend visit to fun, friendly and historic Lewisburg, West Virginia, we ventured a few miles out-of-town to tour the Smooth Ambler Distillery. (Yes, we are continuing our bourbon for boomers posts leading up to the Bourbon and Beyond Festival in September). From the minute we walked into the tasting room, we were greeted with smiles and ” Would you like to try one of these speciality rums?” The tasting room had a little post office set-up. with an assortment of themed post cards you could fill out and send for free to friends and family. Courtney then moved from behind the bar to take just five of us (3 other boomers from Beckley) on one of the coolest, most intimate tours ever.
This distillery tour touched all the senses. We smelled the different grains as they went through the fermenting and distilling process. We saw what looked like a brain of grain as Courtney lifted the lid on a few of the big vats. We heard about the award-winning operation steeped in Mountain State heritage (the water used is purified from the Greenbrier River, Smooth Ambler sources its ingredients and merchandise from West Virginia farmers and vendors). We touched the sweet syrupy substance oozing a bit out of the oak barrels in the curing barn. Oh yes, we also tasted the different bourbons and whiskeys made for the public, and one just offered on site. A very informative, fun tour – even for someone who doesn’t drink bourbon. Courtney was an awesome tour guide.
The bright red distillery out near the airport looks small from the outside – but ranges all over the place on the inside. Go to www.smoothambler.com to learn more and take you own tour and taste.
Oh yes, we’re proud to know that West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler is the only Non-Kentucky bourbon featured at Louisville’s upcoming Bourbon and Beyond Festival. Learn about how you can enjoy two September days of the best in Music, Food and Bourbon at www.bourbonandbeyond.com.