As a man that loves his whiskey, I usually have anywhere from 8 to 12 different bottles of the brown stuff stocked in my bar on any given day. I’ve got a handful of standby, must-haves that are always in the mix, one or two bottles of the fancy stuff, and then usually a few that I grabbed simply because I hadn’t tried them before.
Given that I lean heavily towards bourbon above all other whiskeys, the Kentucky nectar usually makes up about 90% of my stash. And while there are differences between a sip of Blanton’s vs. Black Maple Hill (some more subtle than others), it is a rare bottle that truly tastes like nothing else I’ve had before.
Leave it up the mad geniuses at High West Distillery to come up with just such a bottle. Their Campfire Whiskey, released last summer, is a suicide blend of bourbon, rye, and peated scotch that is unlike any production whiskey I’ve tried before. And it is fantastic.
I always say that scotch drinkers and bourbon drinkers are kissing cousins, but most of us lean one way or the other. I’ll rotate in a glass of nice smoky scotch every now and again, but I’ll reach for the sweeter bourbon nearly every time, though the spicier, in-your-face ryes have been climbing up the ranks lately as well.
Campfire brings the best of all three and layers them into one of the most complex and enjoyable glasses of whiskey in recent memory. First, you get the spicy, boot-kickin’ rye and then before you can wrap your palate around it, you are on to the smooth honey sweetness of the bourbon finished with potent accent of peaty smoke. It is fun to watch someone enjoy their first glass and seeing the surprised look in their eyes as they move from one stage to the next.
A friend described it as “barbecued bourbon”. Very apropos.
A 750ml bottle retails in Atlanta for around $55/ea, depending on the store. If you are a whiskey lover and you have not had the chance to try this unique blend, do yourself a favor and go buy a bottle today.
- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog