We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to travel to West Virginia to visit the Smooth Ambler distillery and pick a single barrel of Old Scout American Whiskey. The barrel we selected will be the first single barrel to come to Michigan, hopefully sometime in February.
Smooth Ambler has long been known for their Old Scout bourbon and ryes, both single barrel and small batch. If you’re ever lucky enough to lay eyes on one of their extremely limited Very Old Scout expressions don’t hesitate to give it a try (finish the bottle). These products have a cult following in the bourbon community so it was no surprise that many were disappointed when dwindling stocks forced SA to temporarily discontinue most of their flagship lineup. The team at SA has been distilling their own wheated bourbon recipe and has introduced new products like Contradiction and Old Scout American Whiskey to keep their fans glasses full in the meantime.
Old Scout American Whiskey (OSAW) is a blend of sourced high rye bourbon and Tennessee whiskey that is then married in used Old Scout bourbon barrels for an additional time in their rick houses in WV. The team at SA has built a reputation for finding high quality barrels and the name Old Scout is a testament to their skills. It’s especially impressive when you consider how consistent they have been in the face of exploding demand for these barrels by other brands seeking to capitalize on the booming bourbon market. Even large companies like Jim Beam are not immune to these forces, as they have also introduced a blended American whiskey under the Little Book brand (at $80 a bottle).
The standard OSAW is bottled at 99 proof from small batches of a number of barrels. To pick our single barrel we tasted through 13 different barrels to find the one we liked the best. There is nothing quite like being handed a drill and a glass and being let loose in a rick house full of barrels. Needless to say it’s a good thing we had a big breakfast at Biscuit World!
Check out the video we took below and leave your thoughts in the comments.