365 – Is Sourced Bourbon Sustainable? with John Little of Smooth Ambler



Smooth Ambler made a name for themselves with Old Scout. It was before the big craze of higher-aged sourced MGP when it was relatively easy to find. But, all good things come to an end and now they had to figure out how to keep that business sustainable. John Little, Founder of Smooth Ambler, joins the show once again to talk about why transparently sourcing whiskey was a critical component of the business. John feels they made plenty of mistakes early on and are trying to recapture the glory Old Scout once had. We dive into the economics of the sourced market of increased costs and what the future holds for their own distilled whiskey.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about the best introduction to bourbon flights
  • How hard was it to take a step back from being involved with every facet of the business?
  • Why did sourcing whiskey never leave your business?
  • Did the market dictate Old Scout’s trajectory?
  • Why not shut down the still and go all-in on sourced product?
  • Did you ever think about putting Old Scout to the side once your distilled product was ready?
  • What future modeling did you use to figure out when to put down new make or just purchase aged inventory?
  • What was the reaction when Old Scout went off the market and back on?
  • Why was transparency so important when it came to telling the Old Scout story?
  • Besides capital, what initial challenges do you have sourcing whiskey?
  • How much better have you gotten at projecting pipeline and future growth?
  • Aged stock has increased significantly, so how are you handling this?
  • As barrel prices increase are you absorbing costs or planning on passing on those costs?
  • @smoothambler
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