Breckenridge bourbon is a youngish thing, made by the folks at Breckenridge Distillery in Colorado, aged for a scant 2 years but done at 9,600 feet at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. A far cry from the humid lowlands of Kentucky who’s Appalachians are a poor, sagging, aged spinster to the young spires of the Rockies. We received a bottle of their bourbon to try and we were dazzled by the results.
The bourbon uses a grain bill of mostly corn and “green rye.” In this case, Breckenridge bourbon is like the fiery college cheerleader when standing amongst the staid and storied elder bourbons dominating the shelves and blogs of America. To us, the rye grain sings out with an earthy, robust call that is everything like the experience of watching a young coed get launched from the gym floor like an Angry Bird to do back flips in the air and land with a giggle and a cheer. It dances across the palate with a impossible lightness for the 86 proof. A beautiful singing finish.
We tried it in all kinds of drinks. We tried it in a Manhattan cocktail and it was great. We tried it in something called a Horse Collar (bourbon with a lemon twist topped with ginger ale) and it was lovely. We tried it in something called a Godfather cocktail, which called for two parts bourbon and one-part amaretto and it was like seeing the cheerleader perform a cartwheel and realizing she forgot her spanks. We tried it in an exotic Millionaire cocktail, which calls for 3 parts bourbon, one part anise liqueur (we used absinthe) and an egg white shaken up and drunk. Okay, to be honest, great cocktail but with that much absinthe and froth it could’ve been any sort of whiskey.
The point is, Breckenridge has come out—in a field that is depressingly filled with candy-flavored vodkas and un-aged whiskeys—with something that brings class and sophistication far beyond their mere 2 years of aging. It’s everything that should be coming from an upstart distillery. While we won’t say it can go toe-to-toe with the decades-plus award winners coming from Kentucky, it can easily overmatch any standard bourbon on the market and run with some of the best. So if you’re looking for a bourbon to sip and ponder the meaning of life, then do go for a longer-aged, longer finishing bourbon. But for something frisky and delightful, Breckenridge answers the call.