Advantage After Hours Episode 1: Smoke Wagon Uncut the Younger Review
April 6, 2023
Nevada H&C Distilling Company has built a cult-like following in recent years through the release of its popular Uncut Unfiltered and other limited offerings, some of the coolest bottles in the industry, and an over-the-top personality in founder Aaron Chepenik. In the first episode of our new series, Advantage After Hours, we review the younger aged version of Uncut Unfiltered, Uncut the Younger.
Advantage After Hours shows what happens when four guys (and coming soon, special guests) with vastly different whiskey tastes and experiences try and review a whiskey for the first time. Naturally, the result is a well-rounded review from four different perspectives, rather than just from the hardcore bourbon drinkers that you find in most reviews.
About Nevada H&C Distilling Co.
Chepenik began his career in the bar scene in Los Angeles and Las Vegas along with his partner Jonathan Hensleigh, which you can hear more about on The Bourbon Life Podcast and The Bourbon Pursuit. They started a vodka business and that led to bourbon, but in the process they had to get the Las Vegas City Council to create a license to start the first distillery in the state of Nevada.
A visit to MGP in Lawrenceburg, Ind. was the start of what we now know as Smoke Wagon Whiskey. Chepenik purchased some distilled product from MGP and began aging it in the Nevada desert. As one can imagine, that offers a much different maturation process than the traditional seasons of Kentucky.
Silver Dollar American Vodka is copper pot distilled using a 100 percent corn mash bill. It won silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition from 2016 through 2021.
Smoke Wagon Bourbon is offered in four different iterations: Straight Bourbon, Small Batch, Uncut Unfiltered, and Uncut the Younger.
- Smoke Wagon Straight Bourbon Whiskey was released in the fall of 2019. It’s a high-rye mash bill of 60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and 4 percent malted barley. It is bottled at 92.5 proof and non-age stated.
- Smoke Wagon Small Batch came out in 2016 and is a blend of younger bourbon and older rye. It’s the same 60/36/4 mash bill as the straight bourbon and bottled at 100 proof.
- Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered is the barrel strength version of Small Batch. This is the release that really put Nevada H&C on the map for those who like high-proof whiskey. Typically bottled around 111-117 proof, Uncut Unfiltered has won multiple double golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- Smoke Wagon Uncut the Younger is the barrel strength version of the Straight Bourbon. It’s mainly 4-year bourbon with the same 60/36/4 mash bill and released at barrel strength.
Nevada H&C Distilling also puts out special releases such as Desert Jewel and Rare & Limited. Finally, they have a Bottled-in-Bond Rye and a Malted Rye Both ryes are 51 percent rye, 49 percent corn. While Bottled-in-Bond is 100-proof, the Malted Rye
Smoke Wagon Uncut the Younger Review
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company: Nevada H&C Distilling Co.
Distilled By: MGP
Age: NAS (mostly 4-year)
Mash Bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley
Tasted In: Glencairn
While Uncut Unfiltered has been popular the past couple of years, its price (especially on the secondary market) is out of reach for many people. That’s where Uncut the Younger comes in. It’s not simply a younger version of Uncut Unfiltered because as the barrel proof release of Small Batch, U/U naturally includes higher-aged bourbon. Therefore, Uncut the Younger is the barrel proof version the Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
Yes, it’s slightly confusing, but what really matters is that it’s high-proof, younger aged, high-rye bourbon.
Chepenik stated that Uncut the Younger was “blended to be fruit forward, with tons of candy flavor notes and finishing with some bold cinnamon spice with gentle heat.” Honestly, that’s pretty much spot on.
Justin, our most experienced whiskey drinker, found notes of raisin, cinnamon, and honey, commenting that it reminded him of fruit cake.
Matt, who has a good base and is starting to branch out, also found the honey and candy sweetness.
Jim, who mainly sticks to Jack Daniel’s and prefers a Jack & Coke, was pleasantly surprised by how smooth it was for such a high proof.
Zach, who hates whiskey, disagreed, nothing that all he tasted was fire.
The nose finds a honey sweetness with some fruit, reminiscent of a jellybean. The palate has a nice warming dark fruit like raising or date with some cinnamon mixed in and more of that sweet honey. The medium finish hits you with the lingering cinnamon red-hot, but it’s certainly not as hot as the proof suggests.
If you’re a fan of high-proof whiskey and don’t want to break the bank, Smoke Wagon Uncut the Younger is a fantastic value.
That’s the best word to describe this one — value. Sure, it’s on the young side, but at $45 it’s a purchase all day. All four of us agreed on that. If you want a better bourbon, Uncut Unfiltered is your choice, but at nearly twice the price (or more, depending on where you shop), it doesn’t offer the same value.
While Uncut the Younger is too hot for someone who doesn’t drink whiskey, it’s mellow enough to satisfy the occasional drinker, flavorful enough for the one expanding their horizons, and well-rounded enough to be an everyday high-proof option for the bourbon connoisseur.
About Advantage After Hours
In each episode, we will taste and review a different whiskey that none of us have tried before. Each of us has a vastly different experience and taste in whiskey, so rather than getting a review from only hardcore whiskey drinkers, you get four different perspectives on that same whiskey:
- Justin (The Adventurer) has hundreds of bottles. All of them are open and available to share with family and friends. He loves to try the latest releases from Chattanooga, Starlight, or Penelope more than hunting for Pappy, Weller, or Blanton’s.
- Jim (The Traditionalist) is open to trying anything, but really just likes a Jack & Coke. His favorite whiskey is the basic Jack Daniel’s.
- Matt (The Upstart) is familiar with the basics and looking to branch out to new whiskies. He loves anything from Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill.
- Zach (The Newb) hates whiskey. If it were up to him, he would never drink it, but he’s a good sport for Advantage After Hours. His go-to drink is a tequila shot or Captain Morgan.
Our plan is to invite special guests to join us for each episode and we can’t wait to see what they think of the whiskies we taste as well.
We will also highlight a different trailer in each episode. This week’s featured trailer is a 28-foot Formula Velocity Car Hauler. It has a sleek charcoal exterior with black trim, white interior walls, black cabinets, a premium escape door, a beavertail, recessed d-rings, and plenty of LED lighting including rear loading lights.
This trailer is currently on clearance for $31,259. That’s nearly 30 percent off MSRP! Please call 630-580-5840 or submit a quote request if you are interested in purchasing.
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