Copper Dog Whisky

In keeping with my long-running series of beverage reviews here, today I’m taking a look at something a little different than I’ve done before, a blended scotch. Particularly, this piece will look at Copper Dog. First, we’ll start off with some general notes about this kind of whisky, as well as Copper Dog’s history. From there, I’ll walk you through my tasting procedure and notes on this Speyside whisky before offering my suggestions on how to drink it. Whisky can be a touchy subject, having either nearly or actually started wars in three countries that I know of (The US in Shay’s Rebellion and the so-called Whisky War between Denmark and Sweden), but I expect this time around to be a lot more civilized.

Blended Whisky and Copper Dog

Blended whiskeys are often sold under an age label, but it can be a little hard to read it. For any blended bottle of whisky, the age refers to the youngest whisky in a bottle. So, for example, a 12-year-old blended bottle will have its base as a 12-year-old whisky, but can, and usually does, have whiskies substantially older. What makes blended whiskies so good, often, is that they’re blended by masters who are trying to achieve a specific flavor palete. Sometimes this is hard to figure out as a consumer, but not in the case of Copper Dog.

Copper Dog gets its name from the Craigellachie Hotel’s pub: the whisky is brewed in the basement of the hotel and sold in the pub. Why, yes, I do think I’d like to visit a place where you can not only drink freshly bottled whisky but are also welcome to sleep it off upstairs. The hotel has been there since 1893, and has been, as far as I can tell, producing this whisky for much of that time.

The branding comes with some charity work as well: Copper Dog donates substantial sums of money to animal shelters here in the US, which is a cause that I think is more than worth drinking to.

Tasting and Notes

Tasting Scotch is simple: pour a little of it into a clean glass, swirl it around, sniff it, and take a sip. A distiller once told me that adding a drop of water at room temperature does open up the smell a little bit, but I usually forgo this. Also, ordering your drinks “neat” will get them without water, ice, or a mixer.

On the nose, Copper Dog is a subtle blend that gives me light woody elements that remind me of cherry, and perhaps some light citrus. Tasting it, I get a little burn first, then a pleasant, but not sickly, sweetness that makes up much of the palette. It’s like someone is making caramel in the next house over and there’s a nice breeze.


I enjoyed this whisky very much, and it would be a great way to congratulate anyone on a major accomplishment: it’s a little more expensive than what I usually drink, but it is an approachable whisky that fits right in with good times. I prefer mine neat, but a little water or some ice would be tolerable. If you plan on mixing and like these flavors, save yourself half the price and pick up some Dewars White Label.

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