- 120.4 Proof
- 5 Years
- Barrel No. 24425
Old Scout was one of those bourbons that really introduced me to bourbon. Years ago the stuff that was being put into these bottles was absolutely incredible. Back then I didn't necessarily have an appreciation for the well-aged MGP bourbon that Smooth Ambler was bottling, but I thoroughly enjoyed what was inside.
More recently, though, it seems as though what's being bottled was chasing that previous love and coming up short. I'm not sure if MGP barrels became more expensive, but at one point they pivoted to Dickel-sourced whiskey. While well-aged, it didn't meet that standard that had been set. Even more recently, though, Smooth Ambler appears more focused on releasing its own distillate, and these sourced single-barrels may be fewer and farther between. So I picked this one up for (possibly) one last go at it.
The aroma on this one was different from the start. I don't know that I can compare it to prior Old Scouts I've had as it's been too long, but it definitely was different. I got great notes of chocolate and toffee that were rich and sweet. After that, though, I got notes of apple and peanut. It was almost like a caramel apple with the crushed peanuts liberally sprinkled over it.
As to flavor, at first I got an interesting blend of cinnamon, chocolate and even coffee flavors. In a way it kind of reminded me of a spicy and slightly bitter Skor bar. It even had a bit of black pepper spice that would linger at the back of my throat.
On the finish I got a lingering chocolat and salted caramel note that I really enjoyed, along with just a touch of cinnamon heat. It also had kind of a wafer cookies note on the finish, too. I can't say I've encountered such a note in the past, but I kind of liked it.
Towards the end of the bottle, though, this bourbon seemed to transform a bit, and the last five to six pours were very peanut forward. I even made note that where once was a Skor bar was now a Payday. The peanut note really took over the flavor, both up front and on the finish. It was almost as though I had remnants of a fresh spoonful of peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth. I don't mind a peanut note, but this was a bit overdone.
At first I really liked this bourbon, but those final pours were just not my cup of tea.