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Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon Review

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Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon
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!🥃

Learn more about Smooth Ambler Distillery by reading abour our Smooth Ambler Distillery Tour!

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