This was kind of highly anticipated by many. From the get-go the reviews of anything Smooth Ambler released were raving. Of course, it took forever before the stuff reached Europe, and then only at the western frontier and not on the mainland.
Smooth Ambler is, much like High West, a young distillery that blends and bottles bought whiskey while waiting for their own stuff to mature and reach acceptable quality. By what I’ve tasted of their blending, I hope the threshold for their own distillate is as high!
It’s sweet with a mountain of caramel and oak. Quite some cinnamon and nutmeg, some almond too. Corn syrup with a slightly burnt scent too it. Cedar / cigar box?
On the palate it’s sweet with candy flavours. After that a sudden pepper bomb hits. Also caramel, oak and simple syrup. It stays peppery and sweet.
The finish is a bit more fierce than I expected, but the pepper gets toned down quickly. Sweet icing sugar, treacle and wood spices.
While the expectations were sky high, I’m not sure they’ve all been fulfilled. Not that this is not a delicious dram, it is, but I had expected a bit more complexity for some reason. There’s a lot of pepper and caramel, and everything else is secondary.
Now, all expectations aside. This is a damn fine dram. Worth every penny and at € 60 it’s quite affordable actually. I had expected it to cost more at ten years old, since premium bourbon can ramp up quickly over here.
Anyway, it’s very good. I wouldn’t mind buying a bottle of this!
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Year Old, 50%, available at Master of Malt for £ 53.79