This Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock is one of just 9 bottles in existence, all of which were given to employees. The way John recounted its birth, in a nutshell, at a recent Southern California Whiskey Club meeting, is like this. Sometimes they get barrels that are empty from leaks or evaporation. Sometimes they’re not completely empty… this is one of those barrels.
Look, I know these are the kinds of posts that usually get people all riled up because there’s no way they will ever get to taste it, but so what? I read posts about whisk(e)ys I‘ll never taste all the time and I still enjoy reading them. I like knowing what’s out there and the process of discovery. If you’re not one of those people then go ahead an skip reading this one. If you are… then read on to the review!
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock Review: Details and Tasting Notes
In Smooth Ambler’s Words: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock
NA – Never released
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock price, ABV, age and other details
Region: Indiana, USA
Bottler: Smooth Ambler
Bottled For: Smooth Ambler Employees
Mash Bill: 60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 12 Years
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Price: NA – Auction or Private Seller (1 of 9 bottles)
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock Tasting Notes
Deep ruddy oak
OAK, spice, brown sugar, dried dark fruit, char, vanilla and some touches of herbal pine, soap and cocoa.
OAK, rich dense spice, brown sugar, dark fruity leather, char, cocoa and bits of citric acid and menthol.
Long -> Dark fruit, spice and OAK… OAk… Oak… oak.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Touch unbalanced due to oak, full thick body and a syrupy feel that fades out dry and chalky.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock Review: OVERALL
The longer this dark rustic bourbon sits and opens the more vanilla it expresses and the more layered the oak and spice get. Oak still dominates the aroma and palate but on the aroma, the spice and fruit feel in-line. The palate is where the oak feels a touch overbearing and every other note is working to keep it in check. The finish starts sweet but then fades out to a pure oak I feel I’ll be tasting tomorrow.
I don’t want to give this one a solid score since it’s just 1 of 9 and all 9 belong to distillery employees… but I have to quantify this in some way so I’ll say this. It’s definitely in the A- level and if the oak was a tad less the complexity here would bump it to an A for me. I think this Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock is pure bourbon amazingness and the rich spice character reminds me a ton of some of the great Armagnacs I’ve had. A solid whiskey all around.
SCORE: 90-92/100 (A-, don’t want to give a solid score)
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock Review
- Nose - 92
- Palate - 91
- Finish - 91
- Balance, Body & Feel - 90
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock Review Summary
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Stock was one of the oakiest whiskeys I’ve ever had and it was great!