It’s time for one of our annual camping trips, and this time we talked our families into joining us for the weekend. This means packing up 5 families and basically moving our street to a campground for a few days. It is amazing to me how much gear it takes to support a few people for 48 hours in a campground, but that’s the state of affairs on the street for the trip. We usually overpack and have enough stuff to make it a week if necessary. One thing we never forget is a couple of bottles of scotch to enjoy, but we have quite a few so the question is: “What method should we use to pick the lucky bottles?”
Peat at the Fire
We almost always take a peated scotch with us for camping. The smoke and peat flavors go great around the campfire in the evening, and it improves with the addition of a nice cigar. In warmer weather, I will choose a lighter peat flavor like Wolfburn Morven. The subtle smoke and light peat aren’t too heavy for the July heat and the light fruity notes are easy to find as well. In colder weather, it is almost always an Ardbeg. It’s kind of tradition for us to take a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail with us on a camping or fishing trip when it is just the dummies. In fact, that was how we first learned to love the heavy peat flavors we all crave now.
Something from the highlands
Summer always reminds me of fresh fruit and floral aroma, so a nice Highland single malt scotch never disappoints when the temperature gets high. The lighter body and clean finish don’t overpower the taste of smores around the campfire, and there are some nice bottles that don’t break the bank. The Aberfeldy 12 year was sitting on the bar and I looked at that one for a while, but I also had a bottle of Glenmorangie Lasanta that would fit the bill nicely. The difference between these bottles is the casks: Oak casks for the Aberfeldy or oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for the Lasanta. Both bottles have the light fruity character that would pair up with a camping trip nicely so hard to go wrong with either.
And the winner is…
I know you guys probably thought I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which was the perfect scotch to bring, but the truth is I only had about 3 minutes to decide so here was the final selection. I try to stay away from expensive bottles on a camping trip because I am not in the right place to appreciate them. I skipped the Ardbeg for two reasons: it was hot outside, and the other three dummies have put a sizable dent in my bottle so I didn’t have enough to bring. I decided to go with the Aberfeldy because it is a nice dram and the bottle was almost full. (You know how I pour). We also ended up with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Rye Cask and Monkey Shoulder mostly because those bottles needed to leave the bar, and a bottle of JW Black because we almost always have one of those and that gives the smoke we enjoy. The most important part of the scotch we bring is the company who is enjoying the bottle and we all feel lucky sitting at the campfire.
Businesses stretch the truth with consumers every day, and most of the time we are disappointed when our purchases do not live up to expectations. We are used to products letting us down which is why it is so amazing when we find something that is better than anticipated. Our reviews this week cover two expressions of Glendronach that were superb, and we were happy to find out that the distillery misled buyers with the label on one of the bottles. I like when businesses mislead us in a good way since it happens very seldom, but the real question is “What were they hiding?”
Glendronach 18 Allardice
The Glendronach 18 Allardice is one of the core expressions of the Glendronach line and is named for the founder of the distillery, James Allardice. It is labeled as an 18 year old single malt but this is where the truth is a bit stretched. The distillery was closed from 1996 until 2002 and no whisky was produced during that time. Simple math tells us that if it was bottled in 2017 it should have been produced in 1999, but since the distillery was not in operation it must be older than that. It must be at least 21 year old scotch in an 18 year old label! That is a fabrication I can sink my teeth into and so we did. The scotch from Glendronach has never let us down and this one was no exception. The scotch is rich and flavorful with a full body and beautiful color. It is matured in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 46% which gives it the great nose and depth of flavor of a classic sherry bomb. I am sure we will have this bottle again.
Glendronach 1993 24 year Single Cask, Abbey Whiskey
There are a few scotches that you have a pretty good idea you are going to love just by looking at them. It’s like love at first sight and this was one of those bottles. We have been sitting on this like…well dummies, for several months and this was going to be the big night. The camera rolled and the four of us dove in head-first, and it was magical. We were all witty and insightful with the scotch and we wrapped up the review with a perfect score. It was great…..then we looked at the video and realized we had a technical problem and only recorded about half the review. No problem, we will just pour some more and, wait there isn’t any more. We had to go back and try to remember everything we said about this bottle. I think the most important aspect to remember about this review is that the single casks can be a thing of rare beauty and if you have a chance to buy a bottle of single cask scotch from a distillery you love do not hesitate. We have yet to regret a single cask purchase, but I do have regrets about not buying more.
– The Dummies
We’ve finally made it!
What is “IT” you ask? We’ve decided that we need to start documenting this journey through something tangible, something that everyone can enjoy in! That’s right, our Challenge Coins (Fill 1) are in and will be released to everyone this Thursday.
We will be working on our next “Fill” soon, but we want to take a moment to feel prideful about the first batch!! Our e-Commerce page on our website may be going through a few tweaks over the next few days as we get comfortable with this process.
We’ve decided to keep it simple and only accept Paypal, but that’s easy enough.
Check our our live show this Thursday as we reveal them to the world and turn on the site for ordering!