Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey is a blended whiskey, but not in the way we typically see. This blend is made of bourbon from Indiana (MGP) and whiskey from an unnamed distillery in Tennessee (Dickel) who aged their spirit in re-charred oak casks which disqualified it for being called bourbon despite the mash qualifying.
In Scotland, this would be akin to a Blended Malt because, like a blended malt, it doesn’t contain any grain whiskey. Yes I see the obvious point that the TN whiskey is basically what the Scots would call grain whiskey (technically the bourbon too), but I was using blended malt to mentally illustrate how this differs from the typical American Whiskey blends out there like Seagram’s 7.
Old Scout American Whiskey Review: Details and Tasting Notes
In Smooth Ambler’s Words: Old Scout American Whiskey
“Old Scout American Whiskey is a union of two whiskies distilled from classic bourbon mash bills. One is aged in new oak barrels and the other matures in rejuvenated, re-charred bourbon casks. While this unique aging excuses the marriage from being called bourbon, it shares all of the character and drinkability you would expect from a whiskey on the brink of being one.”
Old Scout American Whiskey price, ABV, age and other details
Distiller: MGP and a “TN Whiskey” (Dickel most likely)
Blender / Bottler: Smooth Ambler
Bottled For: Nasa Liquors
Blend: 9+ years 36% rye bourbon (MGP like Old Scout Single Barrel) and 5+ years “Tennessee Whiskey” distilled from a “bourbon mash”
Cask: New Charred Oak (MGP), Rejuvenated re-charred ex-Bourbon (TN Whiskey)
Age: 5 Years (5 and 9+ years)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Old Scout American Whiskey Tasting Notes
Corn, caramel, oak, dark fruit, vanilla, honey graham and a bit of fruit, spice and lollipop sweetness.
Honeycomb, vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee, dark fruit syrup, Malteesers and a bit of candied apples and spice.
Long -> Honey, candied apples, spice and oak.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good, full, slick with a light oily quality.
Old Scout American Whiskey Review: Overall
Nasa Liquor in Houston seems to pick a lot of quality barrels. Thanks to a friend down in that area I’ve been able to taste and review quite a few of their picks over the years and I’ve never been disappointed. This Old Scout American Whiskey is no different.
Normally, when I think about “American Whiskey”, I think of things like Seagram’s 7 which is mostly a grain whiskey with some flavor whiskey added and it tastes like crap. But this smells and tastes… good. The aroma is sweet and crisp without being cloying and the palate is soft and oily without any aggressive bite at the full 107 proof.
I chalk this up to there being no grain whiskey in the mix. Instead, just “bourbon mash whiskey” that was aged in a combination of new and used cooperage. Well done Smooth Ambler, the Old Scout American Whiskey is nice new creation and unique addition to the market.
SCORE: 87/100 (B+)
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Old Scout American Whiskey Review
- Nose - 87
- Palate - 87
- Finish - 87
- Balance, Body & Feel - 87
Old Scout American Whiskey Review Summary
Old Scout American Whiskey is soft without being wimpy, sweet without being cloying and light without disappearing. It successfully walks a fine line thanks to the balance it strikes and I think it’s a perfectly fine whiskey all around.