Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Mile High Bourbon Club - Review of the Breckenridge Bourbon

With the overly growing demand and popularity of bourbon today, many new distilleries (micro distilleries) are popping up throughout the United States.  As we see these new producers of fine American whiskey, we also see new recipes, and methods of making bourbon. One particular distillery, which is located 9,600 ft above sea level, is the Breckenridge Distillery Company, Breckenridge, CO.  

At first look, the bottle itself is very attractive.  From a marketing standpoint, this is very important because with so many whiskeys on the market today, consumers will sometimes try a new bourbon solely on the looks alone.  There bottle labels the age even though it's below 8 years unlike most companies which do not.   Breckenridge is not afraid of letting their buyers know this.  In fact they stand behind it, knowing that such a young bourbon brings a solid punch. Next, there is a beautiful etching of the Colorado Mountains on the backside of the bottle.  Granted, looks are not everything but it can sway the consumer's decision sometimes on whether or not to buy. 

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey uses a high-rye mash bill, (56% Yellow Corn, 38% Green Rye, 6% un-malted barley) mixed with Rocky Mountain snowmelt in a traditional open-top Scottish fermenter and then distilled using a Vendome copper pot still.  It’s then aged in new American Oak barrels for 2 to 3 years.  For such a young bourbon you would think it would have a high scent of alcohol and little to no flavor.  In this case, you would be wrong.  The bourbon reveals a unique flavor and finish. 

So what makes this bourbon so unique and worth spending upwards to $50 dollars a bottle on a 3 to 4 year old bourbon?  I believe it to be the snowmelt water used to cut the proof.  For me, before there was bourbon there was coffee.  My pallet was refined by good coffee and what made a good coffee.  One of the biggest issues is the use of purified water or exotic water.  Water is the source of life, and the Rocky Mountains have given this bourbon a life of its own.  I fully believe the snowmelt water is what gives it an incredible smooth taste and not the bite that those would think young bourbon would give.   

There are types of bourbon for many bourbons for many occasions and the Breckenridge Bourbon is a not too overly complex or too heavy, but simply a great smooth sipping whiskey.

Awards so far:

Received one of only three gold medals awarded at the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition in the United Kingdom.

First Sip: Very smooth with Oak of course, Caramel and Vanilla.  The rye helps give it strength with it being cut so thin. 

Suggested way to Drink: I highly recommend drinking this neat.  The key ingredient in this bourbon is the mountain top snowmelt water.  Adding any additional water will completely change the taste and with the ABV only being 45% it does not need to be cut any more. 

Price: Average retail price in retail stores, $40 - $50
Website: Breckenridge Distillery Company

The Four Barrels Final Rating: 4 out of 5 barrels

You have to be young to be in the mile high club and aged at 2-3 years, Breck bourbon does it right.