Smooth Ambler Scout 7 YO
A 7 year old straight Bourbon whiskey scouted out for bottling by the chaps at Smooth Ambler distillery in West Viginia. Made from a mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malt, this top-quality whiskey comes out of the barrel at around 60.5% and thanks to Smooth Ambler, it has been released without being over diluted or blended into oblivion. Smooth and full of flavour, this whiskey was good enough for Smooth Ambler to put their name to it, so quality is guaranteed.
Nose: A little cane sugar and marzipan. Salted caramel, ginger snaps and rye.
Palate: Sweet and creamy caramel alongside more wonderful rye.
Finish: Spicy chilli finish with cinnamon.
Overall: Very impressive bourbon with a high rye content. Simply a fantastic bottling.
Good bourbon but not distilled by Smooth Ambler
Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey 7 year Batch 50 (12-9-13 bottling)
Not very interesting. Lacks corn flavors. Poor nose. A little too hot. Don't waste your money.
24th March 2014
I don't review many bourbons but this one doesn't have much I can find on the web so I wanted to go ahead and put my notes on this for people looking for comments on it. This was a good whiskey for me but not exceptional 2013 release from me. Given it's price point, I would prefer to buy an Elmer T Lee bottling, or any of the Weller bottling released this year. I even prefer the Eagle rare 10 to this bottle.
I drank this whiskey straight and on the nose I had the most flavors going on such as mint leaves, cherries, burnt oak, maple, pine needles but could really smell the alcohol, even much more than some of the bottle proof releases I have had this year such as the Bookers. I can't even justify mentioning some of the other barrel proof releases from BTAC. This to me still brings more heat than any of these which speaks volumes about the lack of complexity being 20-40 proof less.
The Palate is okay but a bit bland. I tasted notes of toast, brown sugar, banana bread but very a bit hot tasting for a mere 99 proof.
The finish here was long but not a lot going on here. I tasted notes that were dry, and mostly rye, with subtle cinnamon and marzipan.
Overall, worth trying especially for the reasonable price. However, I would tend to lean towards the other releases I mentioned above with even 5-15$ less price tag. I would not go above the 35$ retail tag for this release if I were you but definitely worth a try. Especially to see different batches and what everyone thinks.
31st January 2014
You have to read their website carefully but this bourbon was not distilled by Smooth Ambler - it was "scouted out." I admire their decision to bottle this at a high proof and without chill filtering. I am something of a whisky purist favoring barrel proof spirits and minimal tinkering once it has been distilled. However, this "purist" attitude includes indicating who made the spirit and where it was made. I understand the economics of starting a distillery and the necessity of selling something to cover costs while the distillery's own product ages, but I would prefer a little more openness. On their website there is a reproduction of an article about new, small distilleries. It IMPLIES that the bourbon in question was made (from grain to glass) by Smooth Ambler in West Virginia. There is no attempt to correct this false impression on the website that I can see.
That all said, I enjoyed the bourbon very much. It is quite dark and flavorful and shows a typical profile for a mashbill that includes a high percentage of rye. I will buy it again and I eagerly anticipate their brown spirits actually made in West Virginia. Best of luck to them!
11th January 2014
As The Chaps at Master of Malt say, this is a high rye bourbon which for me has left it slightly drier and less sweet than a normal bourbon, making it easier to drink for me. It's also smooth with a lovely spicy finish, loads of flavour there. I'm thinking of trying the Smooth Ambler tasting set sometime soon as a result of trying this one.