I have to be honest with you when I tell you that I bought this bottle of Fighting Cock Bourbon as a joke. One of my older boys was turning 25 and I thought this would be a funny gift – which he then left at my house when he departed.
This bottle of Fighting Cock has sat in the dark corner of my whiskey shelf for a few months since then, at least until I tweaked my back a little and have only been driving or going out for critical activities. Sadly, buying booze is not a critical activity.
This Fighting Cock is tops if your budget is under $20 bucks. It is rough, and has strong flavors, but if you are on a budget, this is a great choice. Don’t let the overall score of 58/100 and the fact that this is technically in the Mixed Drinks Only category fool you. As a budget option, this was pretty good.
- So very affordable.
- If you like a spicy whiskey and don’t mind a few rough edges this is a great buy.
- Your mom will tell you she doesn’t like the whiskey’s name.
- So very affordable. This could be bad if you have a problem with self control.
- It has a plastic, screw off cap. I know, I’m a whiskey snob, but what I am supposed to do when I collect whiskey corks?
- I’m embarrassed to say I like drinking “Fighting Cock”
I have been struggling this week with mobility. Trying to take it extra easy to let my tweaked back heal. What does that mean? It means I’m scraping the back of my whiskey cabinet to find something new to try.
What did I find?
This Fighting Cock Kentucky Bourbon.
I have to be hones with you, I bought it as a joke for a birthday party.
I guess we are about to see how that joke plays out…
This one is a mouthful.
Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey.
It’s a long name, but a good one. This Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey is made in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and is both complex, rich, and smooth.
I’m actually a little confused as to what this Old Scout is. The bottle I have isn’t on their website, which could be just a change to the bottle packaging, but the fact that they took the “Bourbon” label off my bottle makes me wonder if the mash bill dropped below 51% corn. I’m not sure if that is to make the whiskey taste as good as it does – or due to some other cost factor. The cost piece doesn’t make sense though, as I’d guess that corn is fairly cheap?
In any case, this is an excellent sipper. It is 99 proof, but doesn’t have any alcohol burn. This looks like a very small distillery, but its definitely an up and comer, and there is a ton of buzz about this brand.
Take the first sip. This is an amazingly earthy, rich dram that balances leather, earth, spice, and sweetness into something that is really impressive. Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey earned every point of its 84/100.
I’ve ordered a bottle to put in my Whiskey Safe so I always have a Bottle On Hand.
- Subtly sweet.
- Complex swirling flavors that mix earth, leather, cinnamon, and cherry pipe tobacco.
- Amazingly smooth which is doubly impressive given its 99 proof statement.
- I liked it so much, and was worried they will run out that I bottle a bottle for my “Whiskey Safe”. Which means I don’t get to drink it until its really old, or I am.
- You may not be able to get it as it is a small distillery.
I’ve read several good reviews of this Smooth Ambler Old Scout, and am extra excited as its from West Virginia, which has always been a special place for me. My grandfather lived on the Ohio river, but we went to West Virginia frequently, and its a part of the country I will always have fond memories of.
If you remember my original review of Redemption Bourbon, you know that I didn’t really find it to be all that enjoyable. It scored a 40/100, putting it in the Mixed Drinks Only category, and now its time to make a Manhattan out of it.
This bottle of Redemption was sitting on a shelf for a while, and my wife gets mad at me for having too many bottles, so I figured I better polish it off, no matter how much I didn’t like it the first time around.
Thankfully, the vermouth did its magic and smoothed out a lot of the rough edges and harsh flavors the whiskey has when sipped straight, bringing it up to a 53/100.
- Smooths out most of the rough edges the straight bourbon had.
- The sweetness of the vermouth mixes with the hard edges of the Redemption and turns it into a nice mixed drink.
- Even with the vermouth, this Manhattan has a little bit of burn going down the throat.