Classification: Blend of Straight Bourbons
Company: Breckenridge Distillery
Distillery: Breckenridge Distillery and other undisclosed distilleries
Proof: 86 Proof
Mashbill: Breckenridge’s distillate is 56% corn, 38% rye, and 6% malted barley. Other bourbon mashbills used in the blend are undisclosed.
It’s been awhile since we checked in with Breckenridge. It was during our first few months of Breaking Bourbon that Nick gave it a favorable review. Since the company’s beginning, Breckenridge has been blending their own distillate with sourced stock. The ratio of their own distillate versus sourced seemed to favor sourced, as their releases tasted closer to a typical aged Kentucky bourbon than a younger craft one. Breckenridge is still blending their own distillate with sourced bourbon, but based on this tasting, the ratio now seems to favor their own. Does Breckenridge’s own distillate have what it takes to be the star of the show?
The nose is a pleasing, no nonsense burst of butterscotch, vanilla, apple, and cherry. It’s straightforward and presented in an enjoyable degree of intensity. One half of the palate leans heavily on caramel, with the other leaning on grain youthfulness. The bourbon finishes with mild oak intensity that downplays its youthful side and balances its overall sweetness. There is also a bit of ethanol punchiness that’s hard to ignore.
Despite being founded 10 years ago, Breckenridge Reserve doesn’t taste like what you’d expect from a distillery that’s been around for that long. Be it growing pains or an over-reliance on sourced whiskeys during their early years, any head start the company had, seems to have evaporated. Taken as is, it’s hard to find many major faults with its sweet and traditional bourbon flavors. Like most young whiskeys, its grain-forwardness won’t be for everyone. It tastes more like a 3-4 year old bourbon with some (slightly) older stock blended in to help round it out. Breckenridge still has some work to do with their Reserve Blend release, but unlike many craft distilleries, it’s priced right. This goes a long way towards respecting the bourbon consumer and is something we just don’t see enough of right now. As this product matures, that good karma may just do Breckenridge a lot of good in the near future.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Third Base Market & Spirits. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.