PDA

View Full Version : High West Campfire



DaveOfAtl
04-26-2012, 13:03
Looks like High West is coming out with a new blend of single malt scotch, bourbon, and rye called Campfire. I will be very interested in tasting this. If anyone is going to the High West Derby party in Park City, please post some notes!

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/53989168-80/derby-west-whiskey-campfire.html.csp

Pulled the COLA, and it looks like the scotch used in Campfire is peated. Though the statement from the back label mentions that Perkins got the idea for the blend while at Bruichladdich, it doesn't state that the scotch is from there. In any event, this should be pretty unique.

https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12073001000446

BFerguson
04-26-2012, 15:06
I've had a sample taste of this at a event not long ago.

Right off the bat the scotch was ever present in the nose. That first sniff told me that this was not like any mix they had put out before.

While pleasant, as somebody who has not found the soft spot for scotch yet in my tastings, it just wasn't for my taste preference.

Other people in the room seemed to like it quite a bit.

The percent of scotch used in the mix was quite low, maybe like 5% if I recall, but man, it showed through.

B

bad_scientist
04-26-2012, 16:16
Did you pick up anything else to go with the scotch, like spice or fruit, or maybe some barrel influence?


I've had a sample taste of this at a event not long ago.

Right off the bat the scotch was ever present in the nose. That first sniff told me that this was not like any mix they had put out before.

While pleasant, as somebody who has not found the soft spot for scotch yet in my tastings, it just wasn't for my taste preference.

Other people in the room seemed to like it quite a bit.

The percent of scotch used in the mix was quite low, maybe like 5% if I recall, but man, it showed through.

B

BFerguson
04-26-2012, 19:24
Sorry, memory is a bit foggy and the taste buds we getting to be shot by this time, it was towards the end of the night.

Plus, i just couldn't get past the overall "scotch-i-ness of it. its one of those flavors that blocks everything thing else most of the time.


I'm sure Mat will be weighing in on this soon enough also now that the secret is out.

B

LostBottle
04-26-2012, 22:54
I am a fan of High West and am looking forward to trying this one. I love Islays and I love rye, the fact a smoky Scotch is used really piques my interest. Kudos once again to the HW crew for trying something totally new.

mrviognier
04-27-2012, 12:59
Campfire is indeed on the way!

The sample I brought to the MN tasting BF talks about was not the final blend...more a 'work in progress'. Heading home from CA where our distributor hosted trade tastings in three cities. I had a 'final' bottle of Campfire under the table...lots of thumbs up from those who've tasted it.

Can't wait to share this with y'all. It's unique and it's FUN.

DaveOfAtl
04-27-2012, 13:29
Campfire is indeed on the way!

The sample I brought to the MN tasting BF talks about was not the final blend...more a 'work in progress'. Heading home from CA where our distributor hosted trade tastings in three cities. I had a 'final' bottle of Campfire under the table...lots of thumbs up from those who've tasted it.

Can't wait to share this with y'all. It's unique and it's FUN.

Would love if you made your way back down to Georgia with a sample for a fellow Dawg. :grin: Seriously, though, this is such a unique concept. When will it hit the shelves?

mrviognier
04-27-2012, 13:43
I'll be back sometime in July. Will let you know.

Campfire will start making its way to our distributors in May. Should be on shelves by June.

dohidied
05-03-2012, 15:21
Tasted the Campfire at the Wine Warehouse Grand Tasting yesterday and it's definitely not for me. I'm not a fan of peated scotches and it tasted like band-aid. In other news, Perkins is an awesome guy to talk to while tasting whiskey and High West makes the best white dog I've tasted.

Shuboy
05-04-2012, 01:52
Wait a minute, I remember reading about how Bruichladdich once made a blend of Scotch whisky and Irish single malt whiskey from Cooley and called it Celtic Nations. And the product was taken off the market because the SWA got pissed off. I take it then that High West Campfire will only be sold in the US.

macdeffe
05-07-2012, 09:04
depends how you label it

I once won a bottle of some kind of white wine - whisky mixture at a Ceilidh in Dufftown

Wasn't very good but we finished the bottle before the Ceilidh :-)

Steffen

LostBottle
06-05-2012, 20:14
Is this stuff available yet? Anyone here try the final version?

LikeItWasSodaPop
06-06-2012, 00:42
Spotted this in Chicago 2 days ago. There was still Bourye on the shelf and so I went for the last couple bottles of that over the Campfire. I'm open to the idea but waiting to try it before springing for a bottle.

Gillman
06-06-2012, 05:07
Interestting. If the malt whiskey is peated I can see how the taste might show even when used in small percentage. If the malt used was not peated, I doubt anyone could tell it was not a bourbon or straight rye if the percentage used was 5% or 10%, maybe even up to 20%. To me using unpeated single malt with straight American whiskeys - provided the latter are the majority - is like increasing the malt percentage of the bourbon or rye mashes, which used to be much higher in the past than now... Anyway I look forward to trying this.

Gary

sailor22
06-06-2012, 05:53
I have had the finished version and I enjoyed it. It's been a few weeks but if memory serves it tastes initially like a smokey peated Scotch on entry but with a sweet thick Rye mouthfeel and finish. You could taste the Bourbon but it was in a supporting role. Everyone who has tried it liked it, both the Scotch drinkers and the Bourbon drinkers, I would put myself in the second group.

Gillman
06-06-2012, 06:44
Sounds like a peated malt was used then. I'd like to try it, a range of flavors is possible with different components being blended and you never know what will produce a winning taste. The combination, while different of course from using just straight whiskeys or even the latter with an unpeated malt added, isn't so odd really because straight whiskeys can be smoky too from the effect of the charred barrel. I always wondered if old Professor Crow from Scotland, who worked in American distilling in the mid-1800's, advised to use charred barrel aging methodically to impart some of the quality he remembered from the old country.

Gary

LostBottle
06-06-2012, 09:24
Per the High West website, it is using a peated Scotch. For me, this is the big draw as I love smoke and really want to see how it plays with the rye spice. Interesting that the Scotch is what came through as the prominent note on the palate, I figured it would have taken more of a backseat and added some additional barrel char-like notes instead. I also agree with Gillman in that a non-peated Scotch would not have been nearly as interesting here - I am glad they went the route they did.

sailor22
06-06-2012, 10:06
I'd like to try it, a range of flavors is possible with different components being blended and you never know what will produce a winning taste.

As I'm sure you know Gary it can be a delicate balance. I first tasted this at 100 proof and didn't care for it at all but David kept working the proof and found a sweet spot. Sometimes you get close on the first try but it needs tweaking.

Gillman
06-06-2012, 10:07
That's it, the sweet spot, balance is everything.

BTW I think using unpeated malt whisky could be excellent too, as a way to make a "better" straight whiskey (more barley in the small grains so to speak), if not too much is used.

Gary

dridge11
06-07-2012, 16:52
I tried it last week meeting with the CA distributor. If you like peaty scotch then you'll like it. The name "Campfire" is very appropriate. Very interesting and delicious balance. If you like the High West line, you will greatly enjoy it.

cigarnv
06-12-2012, 03:23
As I'm sure you know Gary it can be a delicate balance. I first tasted this at 100 proof and didn't care for it at all but David kept working the proof and found a sweet spot. Sometimes you get close on the first try but it needs tweaking.

Steve, I also tried this at 100pf when I was in Boston and at that time felt the components were better than the final product. I will be interested in trying the final product given that folks seem to like it....

silverfish
06-25-2012, 03:30
Drinkhacker has a review (http://www.drinkhacker.com/2012/06/24/review-high-west-campfire-whiskey/) of Lot 1 (preview bottling, 92 proof) and rates it an A-.

biskuit
07-20-2012, 12:57
I think this is a fascinating blend that any whiskey geek should try - what I find most intriguing is that you can spot each of the components as they weave in and out, it doesn't become a jumbled mess but more of a shape shifter where you catch glimpses of each of the components.

sku
07-20-2012, 15:15
I think this is a fascinating blend that any whiskey geek should try - what I find most intriguing is that you can spot each of the components as they weave in and out, it doesn't become a jumbled mess but more of a shape shifter where you catch glimpses of each of the components.

Great description and spot on.

darylld911
07-20-2012, 15:45
I would love to try it . . . as soon as I can find it! I've been calling a couple shops every Friday on my way home, and no luck thus far. Does anyone know when this might be distributed (specifically in Georgia)? Most of the reviews I've read were courtesy of High West sending them a taste. Which - by the way - if High West would like my opinion, I'll gladly write some stuff up if they send it to me!!!

MyOldKyDram
07-20-2012, 16:39
Finally got a bottle and can't wait to crack it open tonight.

MyOldKyDram
07-20-2012, 18:25
I think this is a fascinating blend that any whiskey geek should try - what I find most intriguing is that you can spot each of the components as they weave in and out, it doesn't become a jumbled mess but more of a shape shifter where you catch glimpses of each of the components.

After pour no. 1 this is indeed a pretty spot on review. To me the rye and scotch are the stars here, always upfront vying for the spotlight, with the sweetness of the bourbon doing its thing in the background. It's delicious, different, and yes, fun.

Tucker
07-20-2012, 18:37
I think this is a fascinating blend that any whiskey geek should try - what I find most intriguing is that you can spot each of the components as they weave in and out, it doesn't become a jumbled mess but more of a shape shifter where you catch glimpses of each of the components.

That's what I like about the Bourye. I'm looking forward to trying this.

MacinJosh
07-21-2012, 10:11
I had high hopes for this one and recently had a pour in Bardstown thanks to Tom.

Overall....I wasn't impressed.

I can appreciate the uniqueness of it and that's about it. It was bizarre and off to my palate. A case where the sum of the parts weren't better than the parts themselves.....if that makes any sense. Like an experiment that just didn't quite work. Almost like placing a circle inside a square and calling it a good fit. I'm struggling to describe this in words but hopefully I'm not too far off.

Balcones is another craft distiller whom I appreciate for trying new things, pushing the envelope, and testing our ideas and notions on whiskey and what it should be. But just because it's unique and different doesn't mean it's worth bottling. Brimstone, IMHO, is a perfect example of uniqueness and success....such a difficult thing to accomplish, one that Buffalo Trace and Bruichladdie try repeatedly but often to no avail.

In the end, uniqueness alone won't earn a spot on my shelf.....you have to go a little further than that. I'm passing on the Campfire.

MyOldKyDram
07-21-2012, 14:41
Bummer. I had to force myself to stop drinking it last night. And this morning my empty glass smelled exactly like marshmallows, so that was nice. :)

darylld911
07-21-2012, 15:07
That is a bummer, but a great reminder that what a lot of people like won't hit everyone in their wheelhouse. I was disappointed in my first bottle of PVW20, and after tasting another at the latest GBS Meeting - decided that it just wasn't the right whiskey for me. And that was a bummer! But as they say in GI Joe, knowing is half the battle.

Looking forward to knowing whether I like this one or not!

WAINWRIGHT
07-22-2012, 09:33
I have had 2 pours from a newly opened bottle,the first one neat and was quite disappointed but,with the addition of one small cube in an glass seemed to round out nicely.The peat is definitely the star of the show with the rye coming in a distant second.

Roadsaw
07-22-2012, 17:35
I tried it the other night and i just cant get into this one, the peat just overpowers everything to me.

darylld911
07-22-2012, 17:46
I tried it the other night and i just cant get into this one, the peat just overpowers everything to me.

Do you enjoy any peaty type Scotch (ie - Laphroaig, Ardbeg)? Just curious if it is too peaty in general, or just the presence of the peat makes it objectionable. I know some folks who like Scotch, but not the Islay-variety which has more smoke/peat in it.

Roadsaw
07-22-2012, 18:53
I never really drink scotch, have a pour every once in a great while. If its heavy with the smoke/peat its just not for me. The campfire to me just seems to be heavy with it. Gonna give it another shot in a bit.

MacinJosh
07-24-2012, 15:56
I never really drink scotch, have a pour every once in a great while. If its heavy with the smoke/peat its just not for me. The campfire to me just seems to be heavy with it. Gonna give it another shot in a bit.

Ok, that makes sense now as the Campfire is relatively "light" on the peat scale.

You want to avoid any bottle that says Islay on it. :) Oh, Takisker and Ardmore as well.

thezenone
07-26-2012, 10:26
Was able to pick up a bottle and cracked it last night. I was impressed. I was expecting a lot more peat than there is, so if there is too much peat for you then a glass of Laphroiag might just kill you :lol: I think all three whiskey's were nicely integrated without one overpowering the other. I wish more blenders were willing to come out with products like this, specifically with bourbon, as Compass Box has done a great job with their brands.

Roadsaw
07-28-2012, 19:25
I did go back and try it again. The peat isnt as strong as when i first opened it ,but i still cant get into this one. I have a friend that will enjoy it though so it will not go to waste!

darylld911
07-30-2012, 14:31
Reached out to Quality Wine & Spirits, Inc (the High West distributor for Georgia) and they expect to receive their initial shipment later this week - so hopefully we'll see it on the shelves shortly!! Total Wine will be happy that I won't be calling about it regularly :)

biskuit
07-31-2012, 06:03
Thanks Daryl for the update from Quality - I've had several people asking me when it might hit Georgia.

smokinjoe
07-31-2012, 13:24
I've never really gotten into the High West product line, although I do have a relatively good opinion of the ones I've tasted. Never bought a bottle, however. For some weird reason, I feel compelled to pick this one up. The mixture just sounds so funky that I think I'll like it. :crazy:

darylld911
07-31-2012, 14:27
I've never really gotten into the High West product line, although I do have a relatively good opinion of the ones I've tasted. Never bought a bottle, however. For some weird reason, I feel compelled to pick this one up. The mixture just sounds so funky that I think I'll like it. :crazy:

The only taste I've had was the Bourye at the last GBS meeting, and I thought it was pretty decent - but I've only seen it for $85 and I didn't like it quite that much. Everything I've read says this should come in priced well below that, so while I vowed not to buy any whiskey for $50+ that I hadn't tasted before - this will be an exception :)

MyOldKyDram
08-02-2012, 15:27
Can't wait to hear what you two think of it. My bottle has depleted rapidly and isn't long for a replacement.

StraightNoChaser
08-07-2012, 23:09
I had a chance to try this at Tales of the Cocktail... but Mat completely distracted me :D

mrviognier
08-08-2012, 03:50
Who, me?

Well, I can provide you with a second chance...Kieran and I will be taking part in our distributor's (Pioneer Wine Co. (http://www.pioneerwine.com)) annual trade show series next week. It's Houston on 8/14, Austin 8/15 & Dallas 8/16. Of course, Campfire will be poured... :grin:

StraightNoChaser
08-08-2012, 08:09
Who, me?

Well, I can provide you with a second chance...Kieran and I will be taking part in our distributor's (Pioneer Wine Co. (http://www.pioneerwine.com)) annual trade show series next week. It's Houston on 8/14, Austin 8/15 & Dallas 8/16. Of course, Campfire will be poured... :grin:
Awesome! Care to PM me the details?

darylld911
08-08-2012, 15:41
Who, me?

Well, I can provide you with a second chance...Kieran and I will be taking part in our distributor's (Pioneer Wine Co. (http://www.pioneerwine.com)) annual trade show series next week. It's Houston on 8/14, Austin 8/15 & Dallas 8/16. Of course, Campfire will be poured... :grin:

I'll be traveling to Dallas that week - if there's any chance of snagging a taste in the evening, I'd be very interested!

Young Blacksmith
08-09-2012, 07:16
As will I. What is meant by a trade show? Can anyone show up, like a tasting, or do you have to be invited?

smokinjoe
08-10-2012, 13:02
I think this is a fascinating blend that any whiskey geek should try - what I find most intriguing is that you can spot each of the components as they weave in and out, it doesn't become a jumbled mess but more of a shape shifter where you catch glimpses of each of the components.

I picked up and tried a bottle of this today. Like others have noted to you, I think you nailed it. It's an odd beast, but I find it highly enjoyable.
:toast:

jtexaslonestar
08-10-2012, 17:33
I picked up and tried a bottle of this today. Like others have noted to you, I think you nailed it. It's an odd beast, but I find it highly enjoyable.
:toast:

I must have been there soon after you. Paul broke my attention from three certain bottles on the counter and showed me the LAST bottle. :D

DaveOfAtl
08-10-2012, 17:35
I must have been there soon after you. Paul broke my attention from three certain bottles on the counter and showed me the LAST bottle. :D

Ha, I got the other one!

DaveOfAtl
08-10-2012, 18:42
Okay, I'm on my first pour, but I think they knocked it out of the park with this one. A perfect amount of peat to compliment the sweetness of the bourbon and the spice of the rye. Much more easy going than I thought it would be.

jtexaslonestar
08-11-2012, 08:38
Okay, I'm on my first pour, but I think they knocked it out of the park with this one. A perfect amount of peat to compliment the sweetness of the bourbon and the spice of the rye. Much more easy going than I thought it would be.
Paul told me that you and Joe had relieved him of a few bottles earlier, and I figured I would open up some shelf space for him. I opened my bottle last night and had a pour. I am not familiar with Scotch whisky so much, and I have never even had an Islay type so this was very educational. Even with the small amount of peated scotch (blend proportions not known but from member feed back I assume it is a small amount) the peat stands out greatly to, but not in an overpowering way. What trips me out is the sweetness of the bourbon and then the spicy notes that as Biskuit describes "weaves in and out" during the journey. It is supposed to hit around 59 in the mtns tonight so a campfire may be in order with a Campfire....did I get that right??:crazy:

darylld911
08-11-2012, 09:10
I headed out this morning but none to be found - DOH! At least I was able to restock my OWA. I'm down to the last few ounces of a Laphroaig 10yr, so maybe I'll try to make my own blend (which I'm sure will make me appreciate the "real deal" that much more!)

mrviognier
08-13-2012, 06:13
I'll be traveling to Dallas that week - if there's any chance of snagging a taste in the evening, I'd be very interested!

As will I. What is meant by a trade show? Can anyone show up, like a tasting, or do you have to be invited?

Officially, these events are held for members of the trade. The one in Dallas will be held this Thursday - 8/16 - from 1pm until 5pm at the Opus Grand Ballroom at the Palomar hotel. If you feel the urge to come by, by all means do so. If anyone at registration asks you, tell them you've been invited by me.

darylld911
08-13-2012, 11:42
Officially, these events are held for members of the trade. The one in Dallas will be held this Thursday - 8/16 - from 1pm until 5pm at the Opus Grand Ballroom at the Palomar hotel. If you feel the urge to come by, by all means do so. If anyone at registration asks you, tell them you've been invited by me.

DOH! Stupid work will have me tied up at those times, but thanks for the info/option! Hoping to snag a bottle shortly here in Georgia if the rest of the GBS hasn't cleaned out every store in town :)

andykeck
08-13-2012, 21:53
Okay, I'm on my first pour, but I think they knocked it out of the park with this one. A perfect amount of peat to compliment the sweetness of the bourbon and the spice of the rye. Much more easy going than I thought it would be.

I was able to pick up a bottle and took it to a party. I really enjoyed it, but more importantly, so did all my friends. The downside is I'm out already and need to find another bottle. It was just perfect for a long evening around the grill.

WAINWRIGHT
08-14-2012, 18:18
Upon first opening this bottle I found all the flavors to be defined and segregated,while I found it to be good just not balanced,now with some open time on the bottle they have melded into a harmonious blend of interwoven flavors playing upon one another all now in check.I find this to now become a great marriage of profiles and different enough from anything else on the market to hold my attention for quite some time.

DaveOfAtl
08-16-2012, 20:36
The more I drink this, the more I like it. I do wish there was just a touch more peat to it . . . and I mean just a little. Regardless, I will be stocking up on this for the fall to be enjoyed with college football and my fire pit out back. Go Dawgs!

mrviognier
08-18-2012, 07:20
Two more weeks, baby! HBTD!