Smooth Ambler Whitewater Vodka Review

Smooth Ambler Spirits Whitewater Vodka
Smooth Ambler Spirits Whitewater Vodka

By definition, vodka is a neutral grain spirit which has been distilled and filtered to remove the flavors of the base grain and its fermentation.

When we “taste” most vodkas for review, the focus tends to lean more towards smoothness, mouthfeel and quality of distillation than flavor. To make matters more complicated, many vodkas on the market come from the same source – industrial neutral grain alcohol (aka NGS) manufactured by companies like ADM. This base spirit, shipped throughout the country on rail cars, is often redistilled (sometimes not), filtered and then flavored. You’d be surprised just how many of the vodkas at your local liquor store all begin their journey from the very same factory.

In this market awash in industrial NGS, it may seem like a luxury for a distiller to ferment their own grain to make vodka. Yet, when distillers begin with grain, they have a much different canvas on which to paint. Many American distillers are using this opportunity to produce a style of vodka which isn’t completely neutral. Working with the flavors in the grain, distillers like Smooth Ambler Spirits are producing vodka that is smooth and clean but with enough complexity and flavor that you’d actually consider sipping it on its own or on the rocks.

Smooth Ambler Spirits Whitewater Vodka (80 Proof) – From the moment you nose this vodka, you know you’re in for something different, with solid notes of pineapple, honey, green apple and confectioners sugar. The entry is very tropical with a distinct banana note that reminds us of bananas foster, accompanied by butter cream and caramel. There is also a nice subtle walnut and pecan undertone. The finish is cool and sweet with the slightest hint of heat. Smooth Ambler’s Vodka leaves your mouth cool and minty, a sign of quality distillation.

Smooth Ambler Whitewater Vodka Rating: A delicious tasting vodka that was a hands-down winner in one of our recent vodka blind tastings, beating out some pretty hefty competition. They make a compelling argument for in-house fermentation and vodka that lets flavors from the grain shine through.  Highly Recommended

  • Judi Fox-Cole

    Your review was right on the money, this vodka is a fine satisfying product! It goes well with a variety of toppings, but I have found that it goes best with ice.

  • william stanley

    I have never sipped vodka in the past but decided to do so with smooth ambler as my son is the president of the company. Found it to be suprisingly easy to drink and very enjoyable. Good job John.

  • Vaughn Shafer

    There was an article in the local newspaper recently about Smooth Ambler Distillery. I purchased a bottle to take to a party last night. VERY GOOD. Others that tasted it liked it also. One person said that all vodkas he had tasted, they all tasted like”turpentine” but Smooth Ambler does not.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading Drink Spirits 🙂

  • Simon Tan

    Great vodka is fragrant and flavorful without bring harsh at room temperature. Over distillation is a major problem with most vodkas, and many premium ones suffer accordingly.
    Compares very favorably with the Nemiroff Lex that I drank in LV back in 05. Not similar but equally fragrant and flavorful.

  • Michael Burns

    Recently picked up a bottle on a trip to Lewisburg, WV to visit family. I had heard good reviews and was looking forward to trying a spirit from my home town. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but it tasted like straight up vermouth. Almost like a premixed martini. Now, I like martinis, but sometimes I wan’t to either just drink vodka or mix it into a cocktail that doesn’t call for vermouth. No matter what I mixed it with I just couldn’t cut the taste of vermouth. Overall, I was pretty disappointed and give it about 2 of 5 stars.

  • Michael,
    We hate to hear that anyone doesn’t like our product. Having a bad batch seems unlikely since we are stringent in our production and our process. We also have a small panel taste each batch prior to release. However, if you think there is something wrong with your bottle, I’d love to replace it for free and to have you try it again.

    Please contact me directly at the distillery:
    John Little

  • Robert

    Can I buy Smooth Ambler in Las Vegas? Where?
    Excellent stuff!

  • Angelhair

    Is there any way to tell if a spirit started as an NGS? Is there some language that a distiller uses to let you know its origin? I’ve read the term “original distillation” but can’t seem to find many products that use that terminology.

    • Most that say “Distilled from Grain” are NGS. If they aren’t they’ll say something like “Distilled from Winter Wheat” or “Distilled from Rye”