Thanks to /u/cnbrown313 for this sample.
One good Smooth Ambler deserves another. I guess. Kinda.
Maybe? Whatever, I’m excited.
This is a store pick. Those are outlawed here in Ontario due to reasons. Reasons like “we don’t like fun” and “that seems like work and the LCBO is government run, so those don’t mix”.
Anyway, I’m reviewing Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel 8 (Warehouse Liquors Barrel #906). And that was so long I forgot to make a joke. Guess being ill isn’t helping me out.
I’m like Bender. Not in that robotic, killing way, or strength way, or naturally cool way. Come to think of it, I don’t drink half as much either. Let me restart.
I’m in no way like Bender. But if I go without drinking and relaxing for awhile, I break down. So kinda. But not really.
Not to mention that after fighting the good fight, and against all the odds (the odds were against me), I ended up sick recently and can’t taste a damn thing. But don’t worry, this review was done before that happened. I’m just getting to writing it now. In the future time, about the past time.
Enough rambling? Okay, let’s try this Chi-town pick of booze. I’m excited.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Region: West Virginia
Barrel #: 906
Barrel Pick: Warehouse Liquors
Colour: 5YR 5/8
Nose: Oak, cherry, cereal, mint, melon, linen, butter flavouring
Starts out with one note, but given enough time, it eventually bursts with different flavours. The fake butter and linen come near the end.
This is somewhere between a Lowland Scotch and a Bourbon. Very interesting. I like the nose quite a bit.
Taste: Butterscotch, ginger, peach, pine, vegetal, fat
So at first this tasted just like butterscotch. Nothing else. Well, that and booze, but the ethanol wasn’t strong enough to make a note. As time went on, it pushed itself forward, and became this fatty, vegetal thing.
Like deep frying veggies in too much fat almost. I don’t mind it, however there’s a greasy flavour thing that I have trouble explaining other than squinching up my face. Otherwise I like it.
Finish: Caramel cake, yeast, alcohol, mint, crackers, dry, cola
So initially I like this. Then this raw, painful, vodka-esque hammer hits my face.
Oh and there’s some alcohol flavour. Gotta stop talking off-topic.
It’s quite dry and unrefined at the end. Wait, unrefined sounds bourgeoisie. I mean to say “ouch pain angry rough”. Eventually that subsides to a dry, cola flavour, however it’s hard to completely get rid of it.
Conclusion: Another year in the barrel and I think this would have been perfect. As it stands? Has some great aspects, but needs work.
The nose is really nice. The taste is good, not great. Needs work. There’s potential though, and I can see people really enjoying it, if they aren’t me and just kinda enjoying it. The finish?
Well the finish seems to need the most work, and that’s why I only say one more year. Or perhaps it wasn’t going away with time, and they decided that 2/3 ain’t bad, or the finish isn’t too rough.
It’s good, not great. I enjoy it. I’m glad I had it. Probably wouldn’t buy a bottle, however would recommend others try it.
Bourbon review #120, West Virginia review #3, Whiskey Network review #727