September 2018: Blind Tasting of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrels

Our September 2018 tasting event was a blind tasting of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel, hosted by Jay Cary.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Smooth Ambler is a West Virginia company that was started in 2009.  Before it began distilling, aging, and selling its own products, Smooth Ambler made its first splash in the whiskey industry through its Old Scout Single Barrel line, which sources bourbon from other distilleries.

The Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel bourbons that we sampled are all sourced from MGP in Indiana. Each bottle is at least 8 years old and distilled from a high-rye mash of 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley.

Unbeknownst to the group at the time of our tasting, all five bottles at our tasting event were Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel bourbons. The age and proof slightly differed between each bottle, but each also had its own distinct flavor characteristics.

Cocktail: Whiskey Sour

1.5 oz Bulleit Barrel Proof Bourbon

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

.5 tsp sugar

Orange peel

Maraschino cherry


Bottle 1: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel (11 year, 94 proof, Barrel #: 3795)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Bottle date: 09/29/16

Bottled by: Missy

Nose: Evergreen pine sol. Polished wood. Freshly made caramel candy. Cedar. Custard. Almond. Maple syrup.

Palate: Walnut bitters. Orange peel. Peach. Ink. Dried Apricot. Purple grape skin.

Finish: Dark walnut. A bit dry. Sawdust. Orange zest.


Bottle 2: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel (10 year, 99.6 proof, Barrel #: 3828)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Bottle date: 10/07/16

Bottled by: James

Nose: Purple grape skin. Wild Turkey. Dry dusty oak. Apricot. Caramel. Dried plum. New leather.

Palate: Rye bread. Dried cranberries. Grain. Baking spice. Brown sugar.

Finish: Brown sugar. Gets increasingly sweeter.


Bottle 3: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel (11 year, 101 proof, Barrel #: 3269)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Bottle date: 08/04/16

Bottled by: Sarah

Nose: Grape cola. Caramel. Toffee. Aged leather. Overripe cherry. Plain Peanuts.

Palate: Quite different than the nose. Cabernet. Dark chocolate and raisins. Purple grapes. Plum. Apricot. Cotton candy. Apple.

Finish: Dark chocolate. Browned apple. Candy shell sweetness. There’s a chalkiness and minerality.


Bottle 4: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel (10 year, 107.8 proof, Barrel #: 2657)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Bottle date: 06/28/16

Bottled by: Sarah

Nose: Rich caramel and chocolate. Earthy. Chocolate covered cherry. Raisin.

Palate: Salty and fruity. Rye spice. Chocolate. Raisin. Salted toffee.

Finish: Salty. Peanut shell. Demerara sugar. Red apple skin. Apricot. Pear skin


Bottle 5: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel (11 year, 100.6 proof, Barrel #: 3764)

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Bottle date: 10/07/16

Bottled by: Sarah

Nose: Pine sol. Cedar. Watered down butterscotch syrup. Cranberry nut bread. A bit floral. Red apple skin.

Palate: A lot of fruit. Fruit punch. Rye spice. Ginger beer. Natural cola.

Finish: Very similar to the palate. But with some nutty chocolate.

Gentlemen devoted to the finest.

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