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Breckenridge Colorado Bourbon

Young and Vibrant, Char and Roses

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@VictorReview by @Victor

17th Nov 2012


Breckenridge Colorado Bourbon
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Breckenridge
  • ABV: 43%

Breckenridge distillery in Breckenridge Colorado produces this 2 yo Bourbon. Two years is the youngest age for a whiskey to be legally named bourbon. The reviewed samples are from a newly opened bottle, and after three weeks opened. This bottle was a gift from a Chicago friend who had traveled to Colorado

Nose: strong intensity sweet maple, with strong perfume of roses, moderate vanilla, light caramel. The nose is very nice, and the highlight of this whiskey. This is a relatively rare VERY floral bourbon

Taste: taste of heavy char, with the wood flavours fairly indistinct and differing very greatly from the nose. Quite sweet of caramel and toffee. Moderately intense spicy rye grain flavours follow the char and the enveloping toffee sweetness. The middle and bass notes are what you taste most here, and they are muddled together. I find the char level to be too strong for my taste, dominant, and somewhat overpowering. Heavy char was probably chosen here to make it possible to sell this with only 2 years in oak. The floral flavours do come out on the palate, which is quite nice, and one of the best features of this whiskey. My impression is that these floral notes are likely from the yeast used, since these are not typical flavours from either grain or oak. By example, Four Roses uses 5 different yeasts on two different mashbills to make 10 different bourbons. Certain of those yeasts yield very floral products, others do not. Same grain, same barrel stock, same stills, different yeasts, different taste profiles. The short 2 years of aging is very noticeable here, and additional maturation of at least 4 more years would benefit this bourbon. Overall the flavours are good, but not great

Finish: sweet and sour, somewhat dull wood. Remains pleasantly floral, with increasingly strong rye spice. This has some very good elements, but is not quite the complete package. This is a little too much sour at the end

Balance: a little tweaking here would make this a dynamite bourbon. Some already think so, as an International World Spirits Competition 2011 Gold Medal rating attests. This doesn't get to that level for me, though it is quite drinkable and enjoyable. Even at a mere 2 years in the barrel this would be very very good with a lower char level and a less sour finish. The wood influence is of adequate strength, but its quality could be improved upon with a combination of more aging and less char


Victor commented

Correction: 2 years is the minimum age for a whiskey to be labeled STRAIGHT bourbon. "Bourbon" just needs to be aged in oak for some unspecified period of time.

11 years ago 0

Victor commented

3.6 years after opening, I am tasting some Breckenridge bourbon now. My reflections on this bottle are pretty much the same as at the time of the initial review. The grain flavours, especially the very high rye content-reported to be 37% of the mashbill, are great. The wood influence is immature. I notice that even though this bottle has a 2 year age statement, the bottle does not label this to be STRAIGHT bourbon whiskey. This means that there could be additives included. STRAIGHT bourbon cannot legally contain any additives, but bourbon which is not "straight" can contain small amounts of additives. I am always suspicious when a bourbon with a 2+ year age statement is not labeled 'straight bourbon'. "Straight" is a mark of excellence which is always desirable when it is applicable.

Some people go nuts over Breckenridge Bourbon. I am not one of them. This one could easily be a superstar, though, with a couple of major tweaks: more wood aging, less char.

8 years ago 0