I had heard good things about the Smooth Ambler range in general and in particular this 10-year-old offering so when I saw it sat on a shelf in my local bourbon shop I picked up a bottle so I could add it to the growing list of bourbon reviews.
As well of whisperings of its quality in the online bourbon community it also won a prestigious Liquid Gold Award from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in 2015, which is high praise indeed and raised my expectation level. For this reason, I cracked the bottle as soon as I got home and I have to say it was… well, have a read of this Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 review and find out!
On the bottle:
“Old Scout ten celebrates the finest qualities of properly matured Bourbon – smoothness, sweetness, and character – while providing a complex and lingering mid-palate range of nutty vanilla, honey, and tobacco that many Bourbons promise but rarely deliver.”
Very interesting indeed, there is some citrus lemon zest and aniseed to start with some wood and surprisingly little sweetness. It was good but not what I was expecting so I decided to let it sit for a few minutes. The second go was awesome with the more expected trio of baking spice, cinnamon and caramel hitting my nasal senses.
Lots of delicious butterscotch with a hint of pepper and some rye. Then some oak and cedar with caramel and freshly baked apple pie poking through. It really is good and stands up to some more expensive and more sought-after bourbons that I acquired around the same time, namely the Michters 10 and the Weller 12.
One of the longest finishes I’ve ever had it keeps hitting you with different flavors. Ginger, cinnamon, hard boiled sweets and some refresher bars (remember them?) all make an appearance in a pleasant and warming finish.
I was disappointed with the Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 at first but this is definitely a bourbon that you need to let sit for a few minutes (5-10 minutes) and the transformation is exceptional. As mentioned I bought it at the same time as 2 other bottles and it blows both of them out of the park for me. A brilliant whiskey that packs some serious flavor. There aren’t many better out there at the same price point.
I’m not sure how easy it is to get a hold of, I just came across it by chance but if you see one on the shelf you will be doing yourself a big disservice if you don’t pick up a bottle. One of my favorite bourbons so far.