Old Scout 8 Yr Rye Cask

Old Scout Cask Strength 8 Year Rye

121.8 Proof

Decatur Package Store Private Single Barrel #186

I am so glad to see a company like Smooth Ambler (curators of this fine rye and other interesting products) doing cool stuff with whiskey and being honest about it.  Especially their “Old Scout” brands which are not distilled by them but rather scouted out, chosen, bottled, and sold under their name.  From the Smooth Ambler website:

Complimenting our exceptional line of Appalachian Spirits is that of our Artisan Merchant Bottled products. From time to time in our travels we come across great spirits – not of our making, but of our liking – that might not otherwise be brought to market. In homage to the centuries-old Scotch & Irish practice of independent bottling, we take these exceptional products under our care. Once in West Virginia, they are further cultivated and then bottled faithfully and honestly. These whiskeys, which we call Old Scout, are delivered to the marketplace as an Artisan Merchant Bottled product. They are finely made and are unlike anything we distill here in West Virginia, but are nonetheless smooth and delicious in ways we admire. Old Scout spirits are very much our own kin and shown the same affection we show to our own juice.”

The distillery itself has only been in operation since 2009, so while they are making and aging spirits that will be sold many years down the line (along with some younger expressions that they are already releasing), why not use their resources and sell some other really good whiskey?  And the fact that they brand those products under the Old Scout name makes me happy.  They don’t try to claim having some historical recipes and vintage equipment and all that, they are what they are and I really look forward to what they’ll put out in the next few years.

Ready to try it?  First whiff I can tell this is a heavy hitter, that there is going to be a LOT going on it the glass.  I watered this pour down to about 112 proof I’m guessing, just enough to open it up but not enough to keep it from punching me in the face, which I like.  Smells like rye (dealing with a 95% rye mash bill here), surprise, but smells much sweeter than most ryes I’m familiar with.  Notes of grape jelly on cheap white bread, stale Dubble Bubble gum, black tea leaves, vanilla, and a little dill.

On the palate we have a spice-forward rye with mint, white pepper, oak, and dill, then cookie/bready sweetness kicks, a little caramel, but overall not as sweet as it smells though and I kinda wish it was.  The nose on this trumps the palate for sure, but both are A-OK with me, hell yeah Smooth Ambler, doin’ it right.  Very unique pour of booze right here.

Received as a gift from my awesome bosses, but can be purchased at Decatur Package Store (a totally awesome liquor store in Atlanta) for about $45.

Rating: 8.8 / 10

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