The smell of peat can be overwhelming. It can also dominate the taste profile of a dram. With that being said, it dominated David Perkins’ senses one morning while he was visiting the Bruichladdich distillery. The smell was coming from the kitchen of the Bruichladdich B&B where peated whiskey and sugar were simmering in a pot on the stove. That evening David and his wife sunk their teeth into savory honeydew melon which had been drizzled with a creamy and decadent peated syrup. In that moment the idea behind Campfire was born.
In a bottle of Campfire we are presented with a carefully crafted blend of bourbon, rye, and peated, blended Scotch whiskies. With much experimentation, David and his crew have crafted a well-balanced, rich, complex, and overall pleasant tipple. Now that you have the back story let’s crack open this bottle and see what’s inside.
HIGH WEST WHISKEY CAMPFIRE
Distiller: High West Distillery
Owner: High West Distillery
Age: NAS (All whiskies in the blend are 5+ years old)
Mash Bill: Bourbon [MGP: 75/21/4 (Corn/Rye/Barley)]
Rye [MGP: 95/5 (Rye/Barley)]
Scotch [Peated Blended Scotch (Undisclosed, Non-Islay Distillery): 100% Malted Barley]
Proportions of the blend are undisclosed
Rich and creamy amber.
The first thing I get are caramel and vanilla which is the bourbon making itself known. This is followed quickly by the peated, blended Scotch with notes of smoked meats and plenty of malt. Finally, the rye joins the mix with hints of herbs and brine. As all the notes meld it becomes sweet, smoky, and a bit funky, in a good way, from the brine. Quite intriguing and begs to be tasted.
The palate is an amalgam of wonderful whiskey flavors. Each note enters, leaves, and re-enters. I get caramel, peat, smoke, dill, vanilla, toffee, cinnamon, and cherry-heavy dark fruits. It is quite delicious and fun to pick apart.
Medium-long. Dominated by peat, caramel, vanilla, and malt. I was left with a smooth and pleasant warmth in my throat and chest.
I have nothing to complain about in this category. At around $50 for a bottle it is a great buy. Any complex and tasty tipple in the $50 range is worth it in this day and age. I consider this a recommended buy. Although, it is quite unique so it is advised to try a pour before you commit to a bottle. The taste profile might not be for everyone. But, if you like interesting and complex whiskies I’m betting you will like this one.
I really like this whiskey. It is the only blended of bourbon, rye, and Scotch that I know of on sale right now. Plus, it is quite complex, tasty, really well-balanced and well-priced. I will be sure to savor my bottle and will likely backfill it. I cannot wait for High West to start releasing their own aged spirits. If they distill even remotely as good as they blend we are in for a treat or two in the near future. Cheers!
91.5/100 (An Excellent Tipple)