Smooth Ambler Spirits Co.
Old Scout
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
57.9% ABV
5 Years Aged
Hand Selected by Total Wine And More

Smooth Ambler Spirits is located in Maxwelton, West Virginia. They produce their Old Scout line, which is sourced; Big Level Bourbon, which is a wheated bourbon made entirely by Smooth Ambler; and Contradiction, which is combination of homemade and sourced bourbons. Lately there have been quite a few ~5 year old Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon store picks around and they have been getting generally favorable comments, so I had to try one.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon is a high rye bourbon sourced from Indiana, presumably from MGP. This particular single barrel is 5 years old, as I believe most of them are. It is bottled at cask strength and is non-chill filtered. It sounds like something that should be right up my alley, but we were off to a bit of a rocky start.

I have seen many posts of people raving about these store picks, but it wasn’t doing it for me. It is not unusual for me to really not like a bourbon when I first open the bottle, and even for the first few weeks, or sometimes months and even years. Then somewhere along the line it changes (or I do), and then I love it. That’s exactly what happened here. It took about a month and a half.


Mashbill: 60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malt

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 20 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Lots of dark cherries & plums with rye spices on a background of toast, cinnamon, caramel & vanilla; alcohol is fairly noticeable.
👉🏻Taste: Rye spices, caramel, cinnamon, light oak and char. Initial sweet simple syrup turns to a brown sugar sweetness later on. Alcohol is noticeable.
👉🏻Finish: The brown sugar, cinnamon, and rye spice continue into the finish, and last, with oak and char growing. There’s some dryness towards the end of the fairly long finish, and a moderate burn.


I am not sure why this bottle of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon took so long to open up for me, but I am glad that I kept trying it. It now has those quintessential high rye bourbon flavors that I love, and is very enjoyable. Have you had this bourbon? Did it take a while to open up for you or did you love it from the first sip? Cheers!🥃

Are you interested in learning more about individual distilleries? Do you need information to help you plan your own distillery visits? If so, we can help. At we have an interactive map of ALL of the Kentucky distilleries, as well as useful information for planning your visits. Check us out today!

Would you like to learn more about MGP’s own bourbon? Check out our review of George Remus Single Barrel Bourbon.