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Finding Serenity at Camp Sanguine

Moment of Serenity #SMWS 76.135 at Camp Sanguine

Life has a way of wearing on you. Work deadlines, family responsibilities, political hysterics and social media noise. Some days it can be too much. It’s nice to have time to get away from all that and relax, to decompress and just chill the hell out. You know, and have some whisky.

My husband, Mark, and I wanted a place to relax, to close off the world and find serenity. Three years ago, we bought a camp in the swamp that is the “perfect for us” get-away spot.  Though it’s only an hour away from our home, it feels like another world.  Actually, it is at the end of the world. No, seriously, the highway dead-ends 600 yards from our driveway. Finding it was pure luck, or fate – whichever you believe. All I can tell you is that I feel my blood pressure drop, breathing comes easier and the tension in my shoulders drains as I make the final turn to see our little happy place come into view.

Some folks would call it a cabin but it’s really a glorified shack with just one large room (living/dining/kitchen), a bathroom and a bedroom. Gold flecks still shine in the 1960’s lime green linoleum floor. The porches on the front and back of the house are screened in – an absolute necessity for the abundance of critters down here.

Just a few yards from the back porch is the pier that runs almost a football field in length to the Lower Grand River. It’s that long because it goes through what I call the Mezzo-Swamp – a low-lying area filled with cypress and willow trees, duck weed and native plants. Depending on how much rain we get and the river level, this area can be somewhat muddy or covered with a foot or more of water. One thing is for certain, the river will always go where it wants to. At the end of the pier is a dock where we can secure our fishing boat, have a dram at the table under the shade of an umbrella or simply sit and count the occasional alligator swimming by.

Just as Shangri-La had a name, we had to give our place one as well. Camp Sanguine – which means “optimistic or positive, especially in times of trouble or strife.” It’s a perfect word for a place to find refuge from the craziness of life. Time slows down at the camp and everything seems a little better sitting on the dock by the river – watching your cares, at least for the weekend, float downstream.

Camp Sanguine and Moment of Serenity from SMWS

It is only fitting that I introduce you all to life at Camp Sanguine with this 15 year old Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) 76.135  (Mortlach Distillery) – Moment of Serenity.

Here are some of my thoughts on this lovely offering:
It’s a beautiful dram, leggy and oily, from an ex-bourbon hogshead. At 55.1% ABV it’s not hot at all – no water needed for me. But I prefer higher ABVs.

Color: light amber honey

Nose: Citrus-y with hints of pine. I let it breathe a bit after first getting an initial gluey whiff.

Palate: Light alcohol heat, sweet citrus with some herbal spice at the end.

Finish: Hangs on a bit with a salty, grassy and mellow end.

It is a long way from the Speyside region of Scotland where Mortlach is distilled to a foot bridge over the borrow pit at our camp in South Louisiana. But the delectable whisky of Moment of Serenity couldn’t be more perfect for a place that brings such peace to my soul. It is one of the reasons I started this blog. I’m excited to share more about our camp life and some pretty tasty whisky.

By the Way:

What is a Borrow Pit? It’s a large dug out pit or bayou where the excavated earth was used (borrowed) to build up the road to ensure it would be high enough not to flood. Most of South Louisiana roads are built this way. What looks like grass behind the bridge is floating duckweed over some pretty deep and murky water. Careful where you step.

I love The Avett Brothers – that may be an understatement. Check out their song Sanguine here – it’s the inspiration for our camp’s name.


@ScotchOnTheBayou showcases the unique culture of Louisiana while sharing a nice dram of whisky.  Hope you enjoy our slice of Joie de Vivre – Joy of Life.  Slàinte, Y’all!

Lee Ann

Slàinte, Y’all! Life in Louisiana. A dram of scotch whisky. Adventures from Swamp to Scotland and the world.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Brad Murphy

    Great label name to suit the location of your camp.

    1. Lee Ann

      It’s our “happy place!”

  2. George Kaplan

    I’ve seen you mention “The Camp” before and now I know what you mean. What a great place to get away to and call your own. When you mentioned Shangri-La it made me think of the Mark Knofler song. Love your musical reference to The Avett Brothers. Cheers Lee Ann.

    1. Lee Ann

      Thanks you George! I know I go on about it a bit but it’s just a simple place. We need to talk music.

  3. Jennifer Moen

    Oh wow, I totally wish I could taste that one. I am just obsessing over SMWS right now and there are so many bottles I want to buy! And while part of the fun is not looking up the distillery info and just appreciating each whisky for what it is, I must confess that I have a few key distilleries I want to get a bottle from, Mortlach being one of them. I’ve only been a member since November and haven’t seen any come through on any outturn since then. How many have you seen since you joined?

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