Smooth Ambler is spirits company founded in 2009 in West Virginia, USA. Their brand is an ensemble of different things. They’re best known for “scouting” bourbon and rye whiskeys from external stocks, in a series named Old Scout, but they’re also producing spirits in their own still (gin, vodka, wheated bourbon). It’s not a temporary solution: they’ll continue this ‘independent bottler’ story, even when their own stock is mature enough.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old is a straight bourbon whiskey produced by MGP in Lawrenceburg (Seagram’s at the time). It contains 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% malted barley. It won a Gold Award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old (49,5%, Smooth Ambler 2014)
Nose: sweet but also quite savoury. Lots of pencil shavings and cinnamon powder. Cashews. Peppermint and hints of eucalyptus, even a few ether-like top notes. Some rounded caramel and sweet cherries underneath.
Mouth: sweet, with hints of vanilla syrup, although the dusty / dry notes are prominent again. Lots of mint / mint tea and ginger, as well as a bit of tangy lemon and pine wood. Pepper and nutmeg. Tobacco leaves. A bitter edge in the end.
Finish: long, dry and ‘refreshing’ in a way (bags of mint and eucalyptus). Cinnamon powder.
A nicely dry and spicy bourbon, marked by the high rye content. Give it a try when you like minty flavours. Around € 60 from Master of Malt, or as part of their Dramcrackers of course.