It is unusual for a neat bourbon drinker like myself to discuss bourbon and bitters. However, a recent introduction to a bottle of bitters helped to save a mediocre bottle of bourbon. I have buyer’s remorse on multiple bottles of bourbon because I never sampled it first. Those bourbons, the mediocre ones, are relegated to cocktails, mixing with diet coke or the purgatory of being used as prop whiskey.
The good people at High Camp Flasks sent me a sample bottle of Campfire Bitters. I was not a cocktail or bitters guy, but I was intrigued because their other products are cool. I had no idea this bottle of bitters would change my bourbon-drinking life. The best way to describe Campfire Bitters is a flavor profile that enhances whiskey. Notes of toasted wood, cinnamon, and pepper spices, along with a pleasing earthy balance.
A brief history of bitters
Botanical bitters were created and used as patent medicines for various ailments. The English added bitters to make a drink known as Canary Wine. The first mention of bitters in colonial America was in the definition of a cocktail. “Any drink consisting of spirits, water, sugar, and bitters. One of the best-known bitters, Angostura, was used as a medicine to fight malaria in South America. By the late 1800s, bitters became synonymous with cocktail recipes.
My bitter awakening
When I decided to sample the Campfire Bitters, I tasted them in three different ways. First, right out of the bottle. Second, I added it to a mediocre bourbon sitting on the shelf, and third, in a cocktail. Tasting it straight was an eye-opening experience for me. Campfire Bitters is a flavorful product, and I enjoyed it. Once I added a few drops to the straight bourbon, I had that “AHA” moment: it made a plain bourbon more complex and allowed me to enjoy it neat. The flavor experience was a game changer for me because it is a simple way of enhancing whiskey. It was also excellent in an Old Fashioned, but I would use it to enhance a bourbon I could now drink neat.
An excellent product
Sampling bitters was not on my radar. I am pleased that High Camp Flasks sent me the Campfire Bitters sample because it changed how I view whiskey relegated to the average category. It opens up a new way to enjoy whiskey by making a mundane bottle more complex. I received a complimentary bottle to sample, but I do not earn a commission on any sales. For more information on Campfire Bitters, please go to this link. Campfire Bitters