Smooth Ambler Rye Review

Smooth Ambler Rye Review

Smooth Ambler Rye is a rye whiskey sourced from the venerable MGP distillery that produces the whiskey used by numerous NDPs like Smooth Ambler, High West, Willett, George Dickel, Bulleit and Templeton. The biggest difference between all of these large brands being that everyone except Templeton releases the MGP whiskey without any additives.

In Old Scout’s Words: Smooth Ambler Rye

“Old Scout Straight Rye Whiskey rounds out the Old Scout family. A 7 year old whiskey using 95% rye in the mashbill, this is a true rye aficionado’s whiskey. Sweet and smooth; spicy without being medicinal, Old Scout Rye honors a time when rye whiskey was THE whiskey of America. Black tea, honey, baking spices and a bit of mint make this a powerful whiskey that’s enjoyed neat or stands up well in a cocktail.”

The spicy dill powered flavor and aroma of the MGP 95 / 5 mashbill has almost become the defacto profile of modern rye whiskey due to its prominence and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a flavorful and aromatic rye and we’ll get into the details below in the Smooth Ambler Rye review.

Smooth Ambler Rye Info

Region: Indiana, USA

Distiller: MGP
Bottler: Smooth Ambler
Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 7 Years
ABV: 49.5%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $50

Smooth Ambler Rye Review


Dilly rye, complex heavy spice, lemon peel, toffee, black tea and a bit of vanilla and dark fruit. It’s a warm inviting aroma.

Oak, caramel, dilly rye, complex spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc.), waxy citrus, caramel and a bready nature with a bit of vanilla cream soda and dark fruit.

Long dilly spicy fade with bits of oak, dark sweets and vanilla.

Good sense of balance, full body and a heavy feel.

Strong Rye whiskey like the Smooth Ambler Rye is one of the reasons the rye category has exploded over the last decade. Yes it’s made by MGP, but if the MGP rye sucked then no one would have bought it and it never would have been the forerunner in the category’s return to prominence. The subtle sweetness paired with the heavy spice and strong dilly backbone build a great experience for the senses.

SCORE: 88/100 (B+)

*Disclosure: This was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Smooth Ambler Rye Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 87
  • Palate - 89
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88


Smooth Ambler Rye is good. It’s been temporarily discontinued, but when it comes back keep an eye out for it.

Smooth Ambler Rye Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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Filed Under: Rye

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