Whisky Review: Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Scotch - ForWhiskeyLovers.com

Whisky Review: Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Scotch

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

Chances are, if you were a worker in one of the old Speyside distilleries back in the late 19th century, you may have occasionally snuck a taste of the spirit your distillery was crafting through the use of a cleverly concealed device known as a ‘copper dog’. Today, the infamous pilfering of a wee dram now and then by these Speyside rascals as they’ve come to be known has inspired the creation of Copper Dog Speyside Malt Scotch Whisky. It was created in the Copper Dog pub and kitchen located in Speyside’s 125 year old Craigellachie Hotel.

Dating back to 1893, the Craigellachie Hotel is Scotland’s oldest whisky hotel. The Quaich Bar near this Highland hotel’s lobby offers a selection of over 700 whiskies from every corner of Scotland, some of which are decades old. 

Speyside is considered to be the heart of Scotch whisky due to its close proximity to the River Spey, which offers a quality of water unlike any other water source found in Scotland. Additionally, many within the distilling community have been known to gather in Speyside for over 300 years. With a majority of whisky distilleries within a 20 mile radius, the hotel is an ideal location to stay when embarking on a Scottish Highlands distillery tour. It’s been said that local scotch makers themselves often stop in for a pint and a bite to eat at the Copper Dog pub.

Bottled at 80 proof, Copper Dog Speyside Malt Scotch Whisky, which is owned by Diageo today, is a non-age statement whisky that is a blend of at least eight single malt scotch whiskies, each of which comes from Scottish family-owned distilleries located in the Speyside region. While these individual blends were aged in a variety of cask types, they have been married in ex-bourbon hogsheads for this expression. 

Initially launched in the UK in 2016, Copper Dog Speyside Malt Scotch Whisky became available in the US in 2017

Among several spirits awards that Copper Dog Whisky has won, some include winning Silver in the 2022 Bartender Spirits Awards, Gold in the 2022 International Spirits Challenge, and Double Gold in the 2022 New York International Spirits Competition. 

Copper Dog review

We review Copper Dog, a blend of at least eight single malt Scotch whiskies from the Speyside region of Scotland. (image via Jennifer Williams/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Copper Dog Speyside Blended Malt Scotch

Vital Stats: 80 proof (40% ABV), blend of eight single malt scotch whiskies, 750 ml bottle MSRP $32, Product of Scotland. 

Appearance: Golden straw.

Nose: Lush salty notes hit the nose first followed by notes of wild grass, spicy vanilla, and hints of cinnamon, pears, and chocolate malted balls. 

Palate: On the palate are spicy notes of oak and malted grain balanced out by flavors of green pepper, cinnamon, and apples, with subtle hints of salted butterscotch and smoky caramel.  

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