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Versus: Flask Fillers Scotch Vs Bourbon

What happens when two 50 Campfires contributors square off on topics and gear that matter in the camping world? Punches get thrown, voices get raised, cats and dogs living together, complete madness… Welcome to 50 Campfires Versus and Scotch Vs Bourbon.

What’s in Your Flask?


Have you ever considered where your favorite libation comes from? Do you even care? Well, you should considering how it is made and the rich history surrounding both Canadian Scotch and American Bourbon.

Scotch is a gentleman’s drink. It is for the modern citizen who appreciates the challenge of refining one’s palate. It evolved in Scotland, from a drink called uisge betha, which means “water of life.” Are you going to tell me that you don’t want the water of life in your flask? No, of course you’re not going to tell me that. – Clint

Have you ever had an Irish bourbon? How about Canadian? Scottish? Didn’t think so. Bourbon is born and bred in the United States. The account of who “discovered” bourbon is still somewhat mysterious to this day, but the origin of “America’s Native Spirit” is firmly recognized. – Matt

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Versus: Flask Fillers Scotch Vs Bourbon


Taste is the most subjective criteria on our list. We couldn’t rightfully say one truly tastes “better” than the other; it would be like asking us to choose our favorite child.

The majority of barrels used to age scotch were originally used to age bourbon, probably in an attempt to steal the complex flavors bourbon is known for. I can’t blame them. The sweet, smoky notes of aged bourbon are delicious enough to bring a grown man to his knees; literally if you have too many. – Matt

Scotch is regionally complex in the same way that wine is. All scotch is from Scotland, and comes from four distinct regions that create very different flavors. You’re literally carrying the essence of the Scottish countryside around in your flask. Beware though, once you head down the complex rabbit hole into scotch land you may never return. – Clint


Anyone can pour straight scotch or bourbon into a flask and call it good but your world opens up when you consider cutting them with a mix. For many, including us to a large degree, mixing quality liquor with anything seems sacrilegious. Despite our initial feelings, there are some quality cocktails you can make it a flask and still remain true to the scotch or bourbon.

A mixer for my sweet peaty treat? Are you familiar with a white wash? Because that’s what you’ll get if you come anywhere near my flask with cola. Scotch stands alone on the strongest, manliest, power lifter legs you’ve ever seen. No. Mixer. Needed. – Clint

Bourbon stands as one of the most mixable whiskeys, although you don’t need to mix it. Similar to scotch, bourbon is great served neat or on the rocks, but don’t think you can’t add a little versatility to your flask mixology and create some excellent cocktails. Keep it simple and don’t go overly sweet. Mixing cheap soda with good bourbon should be against the law. In fact, I think it IS against the law in Kentucky. – Matt

Warming Factor

We know, we know; alcohol doesn’t really increase your body temperature but there is no arguing that a flask and cold weather are a perfect combination.

When the temperature drops, I reach for bourbon. To be honest, I enjoy it all year round, but the sweet and even caramelized notes are perfect for warming you up on a chilly day. Drinking bourbon neat, straight from your flask, straddles the line between bliss and burn; it’s a campfire in a flask. – Matt

Scotch glides down the gullet like an effervescent ember, infusing your chilly bones with the warmth of Scotland. It’s just the right amount of heat on a cold winter day. You don’t need much for the intended effect either, which is good, because a flaskful of great scotch will run you a couple Jacksons. – Clint

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