Smooth Ambler Spirits founder John Little on “The Mash Stage.”

Another memorable Bourbon and Beyond is in the books for us, memorable for the music, the bourbon and – the weather.  The awesome music line-up first drew us to this Louisville fest, but in learning about bourbon, we found there was a Mountain State spirit right on par with those venerable bluegrass blends.  So, we learned about Smooth Ambler Spirits just outside historic Lewisburg, WV.  We toured the distillery and found out why these folks take great pride in honoring the legacy of those who have worked and thrived in Appalachia, and – Smooth Ambler makes some damn good bourbon..

Then – we learned that this West Virginia outfit was the ONLY non-Kentucky bourbon invited to showcase at Bourbon and Beyond!  Too Cool!  Smooth Ambler Marketing VP John Foster came to our B&B preview tasting party at Sip in Huntington and wowed the sold out crowd.

Finally – it was on to Louisville.

John Foster and Smooth Ambler founder John Little were featured experts in several of the bourbon experience workshops.  We wore Smooth Ambler/West Virginia shirts and hats at B&B – logos recognized by many and commented on by many more, including more than a few Kentucky Bourbon aficionados.

However, the real mark of West Virginia pride for us and SAS was at the B&B “Big Bourbon Bar.”  That’s where – along with local whiskey heavyweights like Basil Hayden and Blanton’s – Smooth Ambler’s Contradiction brand bourbon had its own designated cocktail booth, well manned by our new friend Sammie.  Maybe it was coincidence that Contradiction was on the last booth next to the port-a-johns?  A  Mountain State marketing guy like John Foster would say “It’s all about the placement!”  LOL.

Thanks for the memories, guys.

Learn more about Smooth Ambler Spirits at

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