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Batch 47, Bottled by Dreana.
Dark golden brown color and average coating legs in the glass. Nose is sharp spice and green grassy notes, with sweet musty grapes. In the mouth toasted grain, burnt sugar, and some vanilla oak tannins. Big puff of ethanol takes over--wow--and takes you into the looong finish which is carmelized sugar, rye spice, pepper, and lingering nettles/mint tingle. A little charred oak in there too.
This is a big burly rye blend that actually works, but not for the uninitiated. Good ABV for drinking and mixing--will hold its own in a cocktail as it should. Sweeter than I expected, but that's ok. Ice cools down the ethanol, but still a ton of flavor remains. Love S.A.'s Contradiction labels, and the $35 price range makes this a real deal.
Aroma - Pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Quite a nice balance and blend of each. There’s a nice fresh baked apple pie and caramel backbone here which I really wasn’t expecting creating a bit more intrigue and complexity. Oak is subtle. Man for $35, this is aroma is very good. Very nice complexity.
Taste - (slow head nod). Really liking this… a lot. This is drinking above its price tag and that is always a huge plus for me.
I remember growing up, my mom used to make fresh rye bread. This reminds me so much of that. Nostalgia.
Getting more of the same spices on the palate here and even a slight cocoa powder. Apple pie again comes to mind.
It has a medium finish and some sips finish longer than others.
Overall - Sweet & Spicy…this is one of the best values at its price point. Kudos to Smooth Ambler for producing a really damn good rye at the $35-40 price point.