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sku
10-13-2011, 12:05
Yet another sourced bourbon by a micro distillery. The ADI newsletter reports that Smooth Ambler, from West Virginia, which makes their own very young bourbon, is going to market a "curated" bourbon called "Old Scout". No word on where it might be from, but given that the word "Kentucky" didn't appear in the release, I'd guess LDI.

Brisko
10-13-2011, 12:34
Maybe John will respond to this. I know he posts here-- in his intro he mentioned that they were considering selling brokered bourbon but that they wouldn't be making up bs stories to go with it.

SmoothAmbler
10-14-2011, 09:07
We've been looking for some time to source a product to fill the needs of our distributors/customers. You wouldn't believe the number of times we get asked for bourbon in every market we are in. It's really staggering.

As SKU mentioned, we do make our own aged whiskies. 6 different ones to be exact. 3 bourbons, a wheat whiskey, a corn whiskey, and a white whiskey. Only 1 aged product has hit the market, a 14 month old wheated bourbon aged in 10 gallon barrels...and it's long gone. We age in both small and large barrels and intend to blend those barrels over the years to get the flavors we like from young products and from those with a little more maturity. I think we are making great products.

In an effort to meet demand, but not to turn out product that's too young, we began looking for a sourced whiskey. We went through maybe a dozen bourbons, including several from Kentucky before we found a product that we really liked.

Old Scout is indeed an Indiana product. We are working on a blend of a high rye bourbon and a low rye bourbon. The exact blend is yet to be determined but we'll have it wrapped up in a few weeks as I'm pretty settled on one particular blend. Its a mix of 5 and 6 year old barrels as well.

One point that I like to make with folks that are really involved into whiskey is that we really don't make a product like this. We make a rye malted bourbon ( 68% corn, 16% rye malt, and 16% barley malt) and a triple malt bourbon (60% corn, and 40% with rye, wheat, and barley malts). But most of our stuff is a wheated bourbon. So Old Scout has very different characteristics than what we make.

The label for Old Scout clearly states that its a curated/sourced bourbon. We plan on keeping our eye out for several products like this over the years and to bring both our own products to market as well as those we source.

Someone helped me with this line, so I don't take full credit, but at the end of the day, we just want to be a source for really good products brought to you by people who are trying to do it the right way.

SmoothAmbler
10-14-2011, 09:12
SKU, serious question:

How many micro distilleries do you know of sourcing bourbon? I know of a few but the majority of guys we know are just bottlers and aren't doing their own stuff too. I'd love to see a list of who you know for my own knowledge.

Thanks!

wadewood
10-14-2011, 10:08
Smooth Amber - nice post. We appreciate those who are upfront about what they are doing; love the details of the mashbill recipes.

sku
10-14-2011, 10:15
Thanks for the very complete and honest response Smooth Ambler. I appreciate your openness about what you are doing. I should note that I've got nothing against sourced bourbon. In fact, I think there is some really good sourced bourbon out there.

As far as I know, there are only a few micros doing sourcing, but it seems like there are a number that have come out recently.

High West, of course, has been doing it for years, before they were actually distilling, and continue to.

Prichard's has also been doing it for years, before they were distilling their own.

St. George just came out with a sourced Kentucky Bourbon: Breaking and Entering.

Breckenridge Distillery in Colorado has a sourced bourbon.

Bull Run in Oregon has Temperance Trader, which is a sourced Bourbon (also an LDI I believe).

Great Lakes Distillery makes a blended whiskey which is a mix of sourced whiskey and their own distillate.

Then there are a number of bottlers of sourced whiskey that haven't made any of their own whiskey yet, but say they are going to: Templeton Rye, WhistlePig and Angel's Envy would fall in that category.

SmoothAmbler
10-14-2011, 10:24
I completely forgot about St George and I just read the article yesterday. Too many long days, I guess. I knew of High West (good stuff) and Great Lakes (I haven't tasted it but I like those guys a bunch) and Breckenridge. We are in a portfolio with Brekenridge in NYC and met them for the first time a month ago. I didn't know about the others. Thanks.

Josh
10-14-2011, 12:27
Smooth Amber - nice post. We appreciate those who are upfront about what they are doing; love the details of the mashbill recipes.

hear hear! Thanks for keeping us in the loop, John!

cowdery
10-14-2011, 12:29
Not really the same thing, since they don't make anything themselves and don't intend to, but Dynamic Beverages is a small, independent producer that bottles LDI juice. They are the folks behind Redemption Rye.

IowaJeff
10-14-2011, 12:32
I think creating unique blends would be a great way for companies using sources bourbon/rye to put out great, unique products. In common in the scotch world. We don't have as many big distilleries over here, but with the proliferation of micros, maybe this could become more common over here.

cowdery
10-14-2011, 12:36
That's what I've been anticipating, the day when someone will create a blend from whiskeys sourced from different micros, or both micros and majors. That would be very parallel to Scotland.

And then Diageo will buy them all.

Buffalo Bill
10-14-2011, 12:42
That's what I've been anticipating, the day when someone will create a blend from whiskeys sourced from different micros, or both micros and majors. That would be very parallel to Scotland.

And then Diageo will buy them all.

*Likewise on that. El Ditto! That would be something... a new wave.

SmoothAmbler
10-14-2011, 13:20
That's what I've been anticipating, the day when someone will create a blend from whiskeys sourced from different micros, or both micros and majors. That would be very parallel to Scotland.

And then Diageo will buy them all.


Love the last line.

We might be doing some of that in the future...blending our stuff with the big boys...IF that makes a better product.

jburlowski
12-21-2011, 14:19
A friend dropped by with a bottle of the Smooth Ambler Old Scout SBW. Kudos to them for clearly labeling it as sourced whiskey. Overall, it's an OK pour. I found it to be good for a five year old, certainly better than something like a JBW. And the 99 proof is a plus.

The fact that someone else bought it was also a plus. :grin: