How we pick a scotch for camping

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.


The Dummies

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