First thing’s first: what’s a copper dog? Back in the day, distillery workers needed a way to sneak some whisky. One of the more popular methods was taking a piece of copper tubing and soldering a penny on one end. When no one was around, they’d pop the bung on a cask and dip the “copper dog” into it. Once filled with whisky, the copper dog was sealed with a cork, dropped down the worker’s pants. Hey, people will always find a way to have their dram of whisky. Ingenious!
Onto the whisky. In 2014, Piers Adams purchased the Craigellachie Hotel in the Speyside region of Scotland. As you’re aware, Speyside features the highest concentration of distillieries in that country. Adams named the hotel pub “Copper Dog” and sought out the creation of a whisky.
Adams teamed up Stuart Morrison, master blender of Copper Dog, to come up with a new whisky blend. The resultant blended malt features whiskies from at least eight Speyside distilleries of various ages and cask types. It’s bottled at 40% ABV and priced at about $32.99. And I’ve got to say, it’s quite good.
Copper Dog’s nose features hints of spiced pears and crisp apples, alongside toffee and vanilla and some baking spice. The palate features similar notes – orchard fruits, spice, and vanilla. There’s also an element of dried fruit, which indicates some sherry casks. It’s low proof still yields a slightly creamy whisky. The finish has hints of dried fruit, spice, and just a touch of oak.
It’s Speyside in a glass, and damn easy to drink. I found it flavorful enough to drink on its own, though the marketing and price seem to skew towards using Copper Dog in cocktails. The Old Fashioned I made with it was nice enough, but I’ve quite enjoyed it neat ever other time. Having spent a bit of time with Copper Dog, it has kind of become one of my ‘house whiskies’. Now, if Copper Dog would only make it to Louisiana… 8.5/10
Thanks to Copper Dog for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.