West Virginia distillery/non-distilling producer Smooth Ambler Spirits has announced the re-release of Old Scout straight bourbon 99 Proof. Old Scout is a popular sourced expression that disappeared mostly from shelves a number of years ago as a result of the supply essentially drying up. Bringing it back at this time is interesting, especially when you consider that the brand has also been distilling their own juice for a bit now (that hit shelves last year), but it is hard to overlook the popularity of it, so now it is back.
Somewhat unique among non-distilling producers of its time —Old Scout debuted in 2011— Smooth Ambler has always been up front about the provenance of this expression. The name itself is a clever nod to its origins—it was “scouted out” rather than distilled in-house. It is said to have been aged approximately five years, sporting a mash bill that’s 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% malt.
“The American distilling company pioneered and popularized transparency in whiskey sourcing when they first launched the Old Scout brand,” according to a prepared statement from them. “Smooth Ambler Spirits continues to deliver on their core beliefs and demonstrates this within their portfolio, as well as with the new release of Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey 99 Proof.”
Old Scout is non-chill filtered and bottled at 49.5% ABV, and is available in limited quantities on store shelves at a suggested retail price of around $45, as well as in bars and restaurants throughout the US. Custom retailer picks of Old Scout Bourbon Single Barrels will also return. Very limited official tasting notes suggest “sweet and smooth, with notes of butterscotch and cherry pipe tobacco.”
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Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She's a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.