Sample Mountain Week 16: Bygone Ryes

Week 16 of Sample Mountain is bygone ryes week featuring 3 ryes that they don’t make like they used to anymore. First up is 2012 Michter’s 10 Rye, then High West A Mid Winter Night’s Dram Act 1 and wrapping up with Smooth Ambler Old Scout 12 Year.


Michter’s 10 Rye 2012

Age: 10 years

Proof: 92.8

Barrel No: 2337


Nose: Rich and dark with oak, leather, herbs, vanilla and warm spice. No proof sting.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet with more oak and vanilla cream, leather, chocolate, warm spice and caramel. Excellent mouthfeel for the proof.

Finish: Very long slightly hot finish with linger oak, spice and caramel.

Better than the modern stuff? Yes - I hope I didn’t ruin my taste for modern M10 Rye

Worth tracking down? Please no, I don’t want to go on an old Michter’s rabbit hole…

A Midwinter Night’s Dram Act 1 Scene 1021

Age: A blend of 6 and 16 year

Proof: 98.6


Nose: Not as much port influence as the new ones but inviting with rich herbal and spicy notes back by subtler oak and red fruit.

Taste: Warm and sweet with holiday spice and herbal notes balanced by sweet fruit. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and sweet with dark fruit, vanilla and warm spice.

Better than the modern stuff? Maybe? It’s different and I like the modern MWND quite a bit. This was great though.

Worth tracking down? No - these are super rare, super pricey and not worth it.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 12 Year Rye

Age: 12 years

Proof: 110.4 proof

Barrel No: 15334


Nose: Tobacco, baking spice, caramel and faint herbal notes.

Taste: Rich oak, leather, caramel, baking spices and herbal notes(including a bit of dill) toward the end. Excellent, viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and warm with lingering oak, caramel and warm spice.

Better than the modern stuff? Yes, definitely.

Worth tracking down? Maybe, this was amazing but they are single barrels so finding this specific one would be hard and expensive.


The Michter’s and SAOS were unquestionably better for me than their modern counter parts. The new M10 ryes are great but they don’t stack up to this bottle. It seems a little unfair to compare a 12 year MGP to a 4 year in the case of the SAOS 🤷‍♂️ When I compared it to modern well aged ryes like Kentucky Owl, Redemption 18 or Rocky Mountain Rye I am not as impressed. I saved half the sample for a blind with some modern ryes to see how it stacks up. The MWND the older one is different the carries a lot more of the old Barton rye profile than modern MWND. That said I really like the heavy port influence on the modern ones, especially Act 6, so this older one wasn’t better for me though it was quite good and I can understand why folks who really loved the early Acts were disappointed with the more recent releases.

In general I try not to go too deep on older releases but that M10 rye is a tempting rabbit hole.


TL;DR: These old ryes were great especially the SAOS and M10.


You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) for more whiskey content!