Review #13 - Country Smooth American Whiskey
The Country Smooth American Whiskey brand was founded in 2015 by Lori Carcich, inspired by her love of country music and the American lifestyle. Her goal was to create a whiskey that could be enjoyed by anyone no matter their experience with the spirit by making it approachable and modern.
I wasn’t too familiar with the Country Smooth label, but recently they’ve been doing some cool marketing things and the bottles have started to pop up on local shelves. When speaking to some of their folks, it was mentioned that this is the first fully female-owned whiskey brand which is absolutely amazing and something I’d love to see more of. There are a lot of women right now just killing it in the industry.
The whiskey is bottled by Country Smooth in Nashville but distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN. However, since it’s labelled as American Whiskey, it’s hard to tell what’s in this mashbill as a lot of the typical bourbon rules don’t apply. A bit concerning for me is the age statement of 6 months. I recognize that the goal here is for broad appeal, but on the surface that does not seem like a long enough to acquire any of the great characteristics and flavors of the barrel, not to mention that 6 months of winter will have a much different result than 6 months of summer due to differences in expansion/contraction. Initial concerns out of the way, I’m going in with an open mind.
I drank out of a glencairn which rested about 10 minutes after pouring.
Scores are between 1 (drain), 2 (finish but wouldn’t order at a bar), 3 (solid pour), 4 (actively seek out) and 5 (whatever it takes).
Country Smooth American Whiskey
Age: at least 6 months
The youth sweetness is the first thing I notice but it’s backed up by some cream and vanilla. There’s no ethanol and overall, it just smells light and airy. No real complexity, but nothing that I would consider a turnoff either. I stick my nose in the glencairn and get a little leather and cherry which I personally wish were stronger. Overall, I feel like I’m smelling an open tub of vanilla ice cream from a couple feet away. 2
Oilier than I expected which I appreciate as it coats the mouth. I get a few tannins but it settles out and the taste generally reflects what I get in the nose. Creamy vanilla dominates with a few notes of orange dreamsicle. Again, it’s not too complex, but no burn and I can’t argue with notes of vanilla. 3
The creaminess carries through the mid palate and finish, with a few hints of black pepper which stick around. It has a nice hug and I can still feel some heat after a few breaths. 2
The stated goal of Country Smooth was to craft an experience that could be enjoyed by everyone, and frankly I think they succeeded. When I first began with whiskey the most important element I looked for was no burn, and from nose to finish Country Smooth is a super easy drinker with just a hint of heat after you swallow to let you know it was whiskey. Now, my own tastes have evolved somewhat, and my own preference is for something more complex and robust. This isn’t that, but I don’t think it’s trying to be, either. I had a lot of reservations about the age statement, but I think this bottle outperforms it. I’ll probably give some of this blind to my friends because frankly I think they’ll be surprised.
The bottle is on sale for $27 at a local retailer. Despite outkicking its coverage, I do think that’s a bit too high for what you get, but not egregious. Overall, I think it’s a straightforward whiskey experience that will suit the whiskey novice very well and likely surprise the more seasoned drinker.