Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review of the Smooth Ambler - Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 7 Years

With our second review from West Virginia based Smooth Ambler Spirits Co., we highlight the 7 year bourbon.  This expression showcases an excellent example of what this company can do and leaves us curious about other spirits yet to come. 

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Straight bourbon whiskey might not originate from the hollers of West Virginia, but the men and women who chose the juice certainly do.  This 7 year bourbon comes in at 99 proof and is produced by MGP in Lawrenceburg, IN.  Bottled in Maxwelton, West Virginia, this whiskey contains a high rye content of 36% and like the label says, carries a truly smooth taste throughout the whole drinking experience. 
Smooth Ambler does not shy away from their current business plan and it's no secret that some of their whiskey is coming out of Indiana.  Like any young distillery, it takes time to distil, age and produce, but what they do have from the beginning is their raw natural talent and the ability to determine what a good whiskey is and what is not. 
According to recent rumors, we will soon be treated to Smooth Ambler’s newest release and their first distillation – a bourbon that will be aged 3 years at 92 proof and will have a high corn mash bill.

Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Compared to the 8 year, single barrel, 110.4 proof we last reviewed, the 7 year 99 proof was a much smoother expression and provided a more pleasant finish than the higher proof whiskey.  Believing that single barrel would carry a more distinctive taste with more flavor, we again found that the 7 year bourbon had a more complex taste that filled your mouth with sweet caramel and toffee flavors.  I wouldn't turn down either whiskey, but I feel the mood would determine which bourbon I would choose.  
The Four Barrels Tasting Notes:

 Nose - A youthful bourbon, smooth aromas of rye and cinnamon. Reminds me of an afternoon walk in the fields of Kentucky.  Hints of maple and caramel along with toffee.

Taste - Very smooth up front and carries the same through the middle.

Finish - A pleasant spice that does not linger to long.  Little to no burn.   

Final Thoughts:

The 99 proof and age of 7 years is a good combination that brings this high rye content to a desirable level.  Unlike most young bourbons, this 7 year is at the beginning of the "honey years" of maturity for this mashbill. 

49.5% ALC. / Vol.
99 Proof
750 ML

Retail Price $38.99 - $45.99

Aged 7 years
Barrel No. 58
Bottle Date 2-5-14

Mash bill:

60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malt 

Distillation Process;

Continuous Column distillation
General information per Smooth Ambler:


Gold Medal, Best of Show & Best of Class, 2012
American Distilling Institute, 95 points, 2012 Wine Enthusiast
Silver Medal, 2013 San Fransisco World Spirits Competition

Smooth Amblers Tasting Notes:

Bold, sweet and spicy flavors with subtle apple, leather and cherry pipe tobacco.  Exceptionally drinkable for 99 proof.  Serve neat or use to make a helluva' cocktail.

Website: Smooth Ambler
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