Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fourth – Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey

The Fourth – Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Distilled by Breckenridge Distillery, Breckenridge, Co.

From the Marketer: “Besides our unique high-rye mash bill we owe our success to careful mingling of casks at each bottling and the perfect Breckenridge snowmelt water used for proofing. The natural minerality of our water source ensures the luscious mouth-feel, depth of flavor, and long finish making Breck Bourbon one of the very best Whiskeys in the World.”

While not quite as bold a claim as Angel’s Envy being the single best tasting bourbon in the world the more modest folks at Breck Distillery leave room for others to join them at the “best in the world” bar. 

Admittedly I’m biased towards anything Colorado as it’s the state of my birth and, I say this having been to all 50, the best state in the Union.  Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey earned a place in my bar for name alone and just happens to be very good, but the new owners of Stranahan’s withholding product to create a false demand has tarnished their image and is an unnecessary tactic anyway.  Thus, on my visit to Colorado for Christmas I couldn’t find Stranahan’s and decided to give Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey a try; I’m very glad I did. 

The distillery located at 9600 feet brags about using snowmelt for it’s products (it has a variety of spirits I’ve yet to try) and as anyone who has munched on a snowball in the Colorado high country knows, it tastes great, but snowmelt is just water.  Whatever the case, the water they use allows for very good Bourbon, one of the best in world in fact (at least of those I’ve sampled).  Breckenridge Bourbon is very smooth and has a pleasant aroma. The taste leans  towards a rye (as does the other Colorado bourbons/whiskeys) and is excellent.  You know you’re having a nice drink as you can feel the alcohol (86 proof) but in a good way and you're eager to have the glass refilled.  My brother-in-law who is more of a Scotch guy was thrilled with Breckenridge Bourbon as was my other brother-in-law who is a more a bourbon and beer guy (regarding the latter, if you're in Colorado pick up a 6 pack of Batch 19 from Coors, trust me, and avoid at all costs Colorado Native Lager, logo, name and marketing plan aside, it's just a plain bad beer).  As for bourbon, needless to say the bottle of Breck I purchased to bring home was too far gone by the time we left thus I had to pick up a replacement as Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey has earned a spot of prominence in my bar.  As for it’s claim as one of the best Bourbons in the world, it’s accurate and while it can’t quite dethrone Angel’s Envy on my list it’s a 1a and 1b scenario and thus allows the marketing folks at Angel’s Envy and Breck to be looked upon as honest.  My test of their integrity continues.  Happy New Year to all!!

Ratings list (n=4) 1a-Angel’s Envy 1b-Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey 3-Knob Creek 4-Eagle Rare  

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, but just a few things I noticed:

    1) High West and Breckenridge are both purchasing bulk whiskey from large distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana, and diluting it with small amounts of their own stuff. This is a fact. The marketing from both companies is misleading. The uncanny amount of product out there under both labels is a proof of this--there is no way this was all made from these tiny vessels and stills. Bourbon in the U.S. by definition, must be aged at least 2 years. Breckenridge started making their Bourbon in 2010. Do the math. Also, to win the awards they have with a 2 year old Bourbon is, I'm sorry, impossible.

    2) Stranahan's was indeed purchased by Proximo spirits, which is sad to some. Be assured, though, that they have never artificially withheld product to create a demand. Instead, the demand became so fierce that they just plain had shortages--it happens and has happened. This is why the whiskey business is tough: it's expensive and you must project demand years in advance. To the benefit of Colorado, Proximo had to pull the product out of many out of state markets in order to take care of Colorado first. Also to note: every drop of Stranahan's ever sold has been made by Stranahan's.

    3) It is a respected and unwritten rule in the beverage industry to never knock someone else's product. To call Colorado Native "bad beer" is disrespectful and unfair. You may not personally like it, but it sure seems that people are buying it. They have also won plenty of awards and medals for this product.

    I'm not trying to be combative, just wanted to point those things out to you so that you will have your facts in order next time before publishing to the world. Understand that there is lots of marketing, smoke and mirrors in this business.