Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo is a once easily accessible mid-range bourbon that has sadly been discontinued. It is a sourced whiskey from MGP, using their high rye mash bill, and bottled at 49.5%. It was once well regarded for being reasonably good quality for the price, but thinning MGP stocks mean it is no longer produced. Lucky for us in Europe, it is still possible to find on the shelves.

I have previously reviewed this as a sample from Master of Malt, so it will be interesting to see how my notes compare.

This review was done blind in a set of 21 blind bourbon (and rye) reviews, tasted in sets of 3 (on different days). None of the whiskies were revealed until all 21 were drunk. More information about this setup in the first review of the series.

1. Old Forester 1920
2. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
3. Four Roses Single Barrel OESK (Brookline Liquor Mart pick)
4. Kentucky Owl Rye (batch 1)
5. Weller Antique 107
6. Rowan's Creek
7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #12 (136 proof)
8. Old Forester Statesman
9. Michter's 10yo Bourbon
10. Henry McKenna 10yo BiB
11. Weller 12
12. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
13. Rhetoric 23
14. George T. Stagg 2017
15. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)
16. Maker's 46
17. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
18. Little Book “The Easy” (2017)

Distiller: MGP
Bottler: Smooth Ambler
ABV: 49.5%
Age: 7yo
Setting: Blind in a trio with Weller 12 and Henry McKenna 10yo BiB

Nose: Rich caramel, cinnamon, tree bark, a nice earthiness. Some mild wet oakiness. A soft acetone edge that I really like. Not a whole lot of heat.
Palate: Creamy, oats, red apple and brown sugar.
Finish: Cinnamon, caramel, burnt sugar, turns a little astringent. Medium length.
Overall: Absolutely classic slightly older bourbon. I want more. Yum.
Guess: Michter’s 10 is the closest thing I can think of that matches this profile. OF1920 sort of fits the bill, but I would expect that to be far hotter than this. if this is OF1920 I’m amazed that it hides its proof so well.
Rank: 7
Reveal: SAOS7 consistently punches far above its weight. I would never have guessed this was 7 years old. At a recent bourbon tasting for friends that were into Scotch but didn’t take bourbon seriously (it’s a Norwegian thing), this was a favourite. It’s easy to see why. Even after getting into ECBP, GTS and 4RSmBLE, a bunch, including the most seasoned of the lot, maintained that SAOS7 was their favourite of the night. I think that says a lot.