Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon
Around 2015, I was pretty hard on SAOS bourbon as I cruised through a random selection of single barrels. Not as interesting as Four Roses Private Selections. Oak wasn't as deep as ECBP. Didn't handle its proof as well as Stagg Jr. Maybe most importantly, SAOS Rye overshadowed the SAOS bourbons. However, the more I tried (especially store picks), the more I found what many already had: a solid bourbon with character in an proof/age sweet-spot. Then, like so much else around that time, it was gone. My initial opinions have softened (nostalgia?) but ultimately still hold water. For my palate, the others mentioned have better odds at delivering me an exceptional experience. Still, I did bunker a few SAOS.
SAOS Bourbon 10 yr. - Moreno’s “Maple Stax” - 60.5%
Nose: This is my jam. Blackberry. Vanilla frosting. Oily. Walnut. Old, damn near perfect oak. Light baking spice.
Flavor: Complex oak. Dried berries. Vanilla. Oak swells quickly. Then dries out with wood spice. Oak show. Blackberry resurfaces.
Structure: Massive. Big up front, rolling. Calms down/dries out/thins mid. Finish is medium. Front loaded.
Alcohol Integration: Not shy but mostly settles in.
Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) Oak’s intense. Structure provides a ride. Nose is banging. Fruit/sweets prevent it from being over-oaked.
SAOS Bourbon 9 yr. - Warehouse Liquors - 50.2%
Nose: Light/dialed back. Vanilla. Deep oak. Caramel. Nougat. Orange. Mixed berries.
Flavor: Oak forward, but well managed. Vanilla. Orange. Oily. Old furniture.
Structure: Soft and full up front. Oak spike mid. Controlled waves in the finish.
Alcohol Integration: Rich. Pleasantly overproof.
Score: 7 (Highly Recommend) This is my second bottle of both of these. First time through I was all about the Maple Stax. It’s a bold pour. This time through, I appreciate the restraint and balance here. Nose does take a minute to open. Slight edge to Stax, but Warehouse really grew on me.
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Moreno's plays light a light version of early ECBP
Warehouse reminds me of transitional, late 90s OGD BiB
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour