Review: High Camp Campfire Bitters
Our friends at High Camp make some pretty awesome drinking vessels — and they also make one thing you can actually consume, their own bitters, called Campfire Bitters.
Campfire is a rarity in that it lists (most of) its ingredients on the label. Those include gentian, cinchona, cinnamon, salish, pepper, and then “natural roots and spices.” And alcohol, of course. All aged for 60 days.
I love all the info, but the bitters are absolutely awful. A touch of the stuff on the tongue reveals an overwhelming flavor that includes ashy burnt wood, coarse ground black pepper, and grandma’s old perfume — a horrific combination that makes one question what the designer of these bitters could have possibly been aiming for. The smokiness is massive and impossible to overstate, and even when watered down well, the impression that one is licking the inside of a chimney (or, I suppose, a dying campfire) is impossible to break away from. A mere drop or two in a cocktail instantly gives it a powerfully smoky kick, but not in a way that offers any elegance, like you’d get with, say, a misting of Islay Scotch. To that end, I never found a recipe where I thought adding Campfire made things better than another brand of bitters — or simply going without.
I love experimenting with different types of bitters, but this is one of those cases where things just didn’t pan out. Stick with High Camp’s top shelf hardware.
D- / $22 (100ml) / highcampflasks.com
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