Nevada H&C Distilling Company, a company based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, launched the brand “Smoke Wagon” a little over a year ago by taking MGP high-rye bourbon and bottling it in four different products.
The raised imagery of desert sage, the Nevada state flower, can be found on the Silver Dollar bottle as well as the amber Smoke Wagon bottles and in the label of the Straight Bourbon. The Morgan silver dollar (replicated on the bottle’s face) was minted in Carson city, the state capitol. It is the perfect symbol and name for our vodka due to its Nevada significance and the fact that silver dollar vodka is silver filtered.
Smoke Wagon? Does that mean it’s smokey? Smoke Wagon is actually old west slang for the 1873 Colt single action army revolver or “the gun that won the west”. Our logo stamped in wax consists of two crossed Smoke Wagons over the state of Nevada. Below it is our motto and a quote from Seneca, bibamus moriendum est. The literal translation is “drink, for we must die” but the meaning is more along the lines of, drink and enjoy today because we won’t be around forever. We can only assume Seneca meant to drink responsibly, of course.
We took the same vintage blending philosophy that we used to create Small Batch, except this time the goal was to create high proof bourbon that tasted its best neat. Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered Straight Bourbon Whiskey is so rich and sweet with an unbelievably thick mouth feel, the heat and rye spice finish are a welcome addition. It’s like milk with cookies!
Blending vintages of our high rye mash bill to achieve this flavor profile at 115-116 plus proof was a very rewarding challenge for us. There is a delicate balance between creamy mouthfeel, tannins and sugars that comes into play that makes the end result magical. Older vintages have more evaporation which means a higher concentration of fats and sugars per ounce which gives them a nice creamy mouthfeel as well as caramel and honey goodness. They also have more tannins because alcohol has been in contact with the wood for longer. A lot of what some perceive as alcohol burn is actually a harshness due to tannins. This can counterbalance the benefit gained by the high concentration of lipid esters insulating your pallet from alcohol heat. There needs to be enough of the older bourbon for the oak flavors and mouthfeel, but also some younger ones to cut back on the tannins and bring in some delicate fruit and caramel flavors.
2017 and 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Double Gold Winner.
NOSE: Honey, toasted nuts and with some oak and heat.
PALATE: Creamy mouthfeel with Initial rich sweet notes of honey and caramel.
FINISH: Nuts, oak and pepper spice.