In the ever-expanding realm of barrel-proof bourbons, the spotlight now falls on A Smith Bowman's latest masterpiece: the Cask Strength Bourbon Batch #3, a symphony of flavor boasting an astounding 67.55% alcohol by volume (ABV). This release, meticulously curated by A Smith Bowman's skilled distiller, David Bock, marks the third annual batch of this exquisite expression, captivating the palates of bourbon enthusiasts with its unparalleled strength and complexity.
A Smith Bowman, nestled in the heart of Virginia and under the esteemed ownership of Sazerac, has carved its niche as the state's oldest distillery, tracing its roots back to the post-Prohibition era. A noteworthy distinction lies in the distillery's unique process, where some of the bourbon undergoes a third distillation at Bowman, following its origin at Kentucky's Buffalo Trace Distillery. This intricate dance of craftsmanship unfolds within the confines of Bowman's pot stills, affectionately named Mary and George, contributing to the distinct character of their spirits.
The Cask Strength Bourbon Batch #3, a result of at least nine years of meticulous aging, emerges as an uncut and non-chill-filtered elixir. Bock's discerning palate led him to select barrels that, at the ripe age of nine, exuded a captivating blend of complexity and sweetness, creating the foundation for this exceptional blend.
As Bock articulates, "We believe our Cask Strength [range] is about crafting the best possible cask strength whiskey we can provide from our stocks. I'm excited for fans to try this year's release." The anticipation is heightened by the tantalizing aromas promised by this high-proof bourbon, featuring notes of 'candy apple' and a robust 'maple' essence.
Upon tasting, the palate is treated to a captivating interplay of 'sweet raisin' and 'vanilla,' culminating in the lingering embrace of 'toasted toffee.' The finish, described as 'strong' and 'crispy,' is a signature characteristic of bourbons with elevated proof, promising an unforgettable sensory experience.
For those eager to embark on this flavor journey, A Smith Bowman has orchestrated a unique opportunity. The Cask Strength Bourbon Batch #3 will be available for purchase in select U.S. markets. Additionally, enthusiasts can participate in an online lottery, a chance to secure one of these coveted bottles. The lottery, opening at midday on January 3, 2024, will see the winner announced on January 12. The fortunate victors must then journey to A Smith Bowman's gift shop in Fredericksburg, Virginia, within three weeks to claim their prized possession.
Indulging in this liquid gold comes at a price, with each 750ml bottle retailing for $99 (£79). This exquisite bourbon is not a stranger to accolades, with its predecessor clinching a Gold Medal in the 2023 American Whiskey Masters blind tasting competition, specifically in the 'Bourbon aged over eight years' category.
As the curtain rises on the latest act in A Smith Bowman's Cask Strength Bourbon saga, enthusiasts await with bated breath to savor the rich, nuanced notes that define this exceptional expression. The marriage of craftsmanship, time, and expertise encapsulates the essence of A Smith Bowman, ensuring that each bottle is not just a libation but a testament to the artistry of bourbon-making.
About A. Smith Bowman
A. Smith Bowman Distillery, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a notable American distillery with a rich history dating back to the post-Prohibition era. The distillery was originally established in 1934 by A. Smith Bowman, making it one of the oldest craft distilleries in the United States. The Bowman family has been involved in the distillation of spirits for several generations, and A. Smith Bowman Distillery is known for producing a variety of high-quality spirits, with a particular focus on bourbon.
The distillery has gained recognition for its commitment to traditional craftsmanship and its dedication to creating unique and flavorful bourbons. A distinctive aspect of A. Smith Bowman's production process is the use of a continuous column still, which differs from the more common pot stills used by many bourbon producers. This column still allows for a more efficient and precise distillation process, contributing to the character of the distillery's spirits.
One of the flagship products of A. Smith Bowman is the Bowman Brothers Small Batch Bourbon. This bourbon is known for its smooth and well-balanced profile, with flavors of vanilla, caramel, and a hint of spice. A. Smith Bowman also produces limited-edition releases and single barrel expressions, allowing enthusiasts to explore different facets of the distillery's craftsmanship.
In addition to bourbon, A. Smith Bowman Distillery has ventured into other spirits, including gin and vodka. The distillery has a visitor center that offers tours, allowing guests to learn about the history of the Bowman family, the bourbon-making process, and the unique qualities of A. Smith Bowman's spirits. The distillery's commitment to quality, innovation, and its legacy as a family-run operation contributes to its standing as a respected name in the American craft spirits landscape.