August 23, 2016

The Last Unicorn - Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye Unicorn Private Barrel

Trying to find funny things to say about unicorns got weird quickly.  First there were some decent memes, like this one.

Cute, self-deprecating and using an animal photo - pretty much everything a meme should be.  But then the very next link was... this.

Guess that's one way to win an argument.  Really don't know what to say here. But then... well there's just really nothing to say about this guy.

Errrr.... So yeah let's just get on to the review.

Today we're tasting a true unicorn, one of the last Smooth Ambler private barrel ryes. The "unicorn" was a local Kentucky selection (from Liquor Barn? someone pls confirm). Sadly Smooth Ambler ran out of stock for its private barrel rye program last year and this was the last release. Like all the SOAS private ryes, it's a cask strength 99% rye that's unchillfiltered and straight from the barrel. This one comes in at 119 proof. 

Tasting Notes

Nose: Mint and toffee forward on this one. It lacks the fullness of some of the epic SOAS ryes, but it's got many of the elements we're looking for. Oak, vanilla, little bit of leather and honey. It's not a particularly spicy one, and doesn't have super big richness, but still a very respectable nose.

Palate: It drinks incredibly well for a near 120 proof monster. We didn't reach for water. The mouthfeel is thin, but the flavor is very nice, adding a little pepper to the mint and honey. 

Finish: Nice lasting finish for a rye, this one leaves you with a little spirit burn that's not quite balanced by the other flavors, but all-in-all it's a good finish.


MAN we're going to miss these awesome private rye barrels! There were some seriously incredible bottles in this line. Astor Wines' 9-year rye was outstanding. The Anniversary Smooth Ambler 10-Year was dynamite. And of course SmokyBeast Rye #1 was... like... duh.  Maybe it's not super surprising that the unicorn was the last barrel chosen. It's not in the same league as the others. But it's still a righteous bottle. Seeing as all these ryes come from MGP/LDI, we'd like to appeal to the whiskey Gods for more of these releases. Surely they must have more stock aging somewhere. Right??  Anyway this was a treat and we're saving the last few drams of this.  The end of an era!  Unicorn man would surely approve. Also, your argument is invalid.  SB out.

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