Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon

Distillery: Smooth Ambler
Name: Old Scout
Region: West Viginia
Age: 7
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 49.5%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £3.89 (£47 for 75cl)
Colour: Amber
Nose: Dry, rye, a little sweetness, oak, burnt wood
Taste: Slight sweetness, rye, smooth, creamy
Finish: Long, spicy, sweet, dry
Rating: 8/10
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon

I actually won this in a raffle at my local pub, The Victoria Newcastle-under-Lyme, as part of their Drinks By The Drink Whisky Advent Calendar competition. Each day they have been raffling off that days’ dram and giving all of the takings to charity.

It has a lovely nose to it, softer that a lot of the bourbons I have had before, not as sweet and a little more complex. Once covered for a little while the oak and burnt wood aromas really stood out. Once left to aerate a while the dryness mellows and the sweetness picks up a little, still not really sweet though.

At 49.5% this has a bit of an alcohol bite to it at first, but that fades to reveal a slight initial sweetness that quickly gives way to the rye. At 36% rye in the mashbill I believe this is quite high (feel free to correct me on this) and it has ensured that this bourbon not too sweet and has just enough rye on the nose and palate. On second sip, and given time to aerate a little, the alcohol bite lessens to reveal the smoothness and creaminess of this bourbon that makes it so moreish. The addition of water really takes that bite away and smoothens it out more, although a surprisingly small amount is needed to achieve this given its ABV.

The finish is long with a lovely warming spiciness to it that leads into a seemingly sweeter taste than is present on the nose or palate; after this there is a dryness as the final finish.

To be honest I haven’t really sat down and really ‘tasted’ bourbons before, they have just been drams I have had when out, usually after a few beers, or around friends whilst chatting, so I have never really appreciated them that much in the past. This one however has really opened my eyes to how good they can be, it is a real contender to gain a place in my collection, not as a replacement to a single malt, they are like chalk and cheese, two completely different drinks, it would be an addition for when I fancy something different.