Drink Magazine

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Review

By Josh Peters @TheWhiskeyJug

Normally I’d avoid a product like this Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend, but it came as part of a kit for an online cocktail event I signed up for. Why would I avoid a product like this you ask? Because the label is so riddled with problems you have no idea what you’re actually drinking. Couple this with there being no email or contact form on the site to reach out and it all ends up feeling rather shady.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Review

The mystery does get resolved, so stick with me, but first, let’s review the problems, starting with some of the most infamous words in whiskeydom: “Produced and Bottled by”. If you see this on a label, and they are a “distillery”, set the bottle down and buy some Wild Turkey 101 instead. This way you know what you’re drinking and who actually made it.

One notable exception to this rule is if the label also carries “Distilled In Indiana” on the back. If says IN, then you know it came from MGP and leaves you with just one major question: how much are you willing to pay for that bottle of MGP whiskey in the window? Breckenridge fully misses the state of distillation mark, which we’ll touch on again in a bit.

The next problem with this confusing label is actually the one that would stop me from even picking it up in the first place, the words “A Blend”. I have no problem with blended straight whiskeys, like Barrell, but this misses that key designation: straight. Meaning all kinds of crap could be in this whiskey besides bourbon. And since they don’t actually tell you, it’s up to you to guess.

Pulling up the Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend label in the TTB it’s a class 131 spirit which is a “Blended Bourbon Whisky”. This means that only 51% of what’s in the bottle (on a proof gallon basis) has to be straight bourbon. The rest could be neutral grain spirits and it can also contain coloring and flavoring. With something like that, you literally have no idea what you’re drinking. This is why if it’s missing the word Straight on a bottle of bourbon or rye I rarely buy it.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Back Label

However, on the side of the bottle, in teeny-tiny print, are the words 100% Bourbon. Finally, adding to the frustration of this terrible label, there’s no declaration of age. If you look around online, you’ll see many references to the whiskey they bottle being 2-3 years old, but who knows. Are you following along? It’s labeled as “a blend” but states 100% Bourbon yet is not labeled as straight. It’s also missing the state of distillation and the age… WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THIS WHISKEY?

Adding to the pile of confusion that is this release is the site copy (quoted below). Which ignores everything on the bottle and makes it sound like a straight bourbon. This is where I found myself when I picked up the phone. With no helpful info found online, and out of other options I called the Breckenridge gift shop.

I had a nice, polite, and quick conversation with the lady who answered, but she had no answers. So, she transferred me over to their production department where I met a helpful fellow who let me know this is their standard bourbon which is a blend of Breckenridge distilled and MGP distilled straight bourbon aged 3+ years. I.e., this is a blend of straight bourbons and the label is missing the required state of distillation… and required age… and the words “of straight bourbon whiskey”.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Side Label

When I asked about the massively confusing label the response I got back, in summary, was that Breckenridge were planning on moving it to a blended bourbon (51%+ bourbon + NGS), but decided not to. But, since the new label was already done and printed, they kept the label. I told you if you stuck with me it would get resolved… kinda. It doesn’t explain the 100% bourbon on the label, but in essence they designed it for a different product, changed their minds, probably added the 100% Bourbon, and then pushed it out to a confused public.

Now that we’ve straightened out what’s on the bottle, it’s time to see what the liquid in the bottle is all about. But, before we get to drinkin’ and dig into this Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend review there is one thing still bothering me: the “made with snowmelt” water crap. Who seriously sees that and thinks “that’s amazing, I’m going to buy it.” Also, who actually believes it?

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Bottom Label

Breckenridge doesn’t go out, gather up snow, melt it, and make their whiskey. This line is ridiculous, they get their water from the same aquifers and municipal sources as everyone around them does. Yes, some of the water in those aquifers does come from snowmelt, so it is technically true, it’s an utterly absurd thing to say and market with. Stop the gimmicks, stop the stories, stop putting out garbage labels, just focus on making good whiskey.

And now… the review.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend – Details and Tasting Notes

Whiskey Details

Region: USA

Distiller: Breckenridge + MGP
Bottler: Breckenridge Distillery
Mash Bill: 56% Corn, 38% Green Rye, 6% Unmalted Barley (their bourbon component only)
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: NAS (Verbally told it was 3+ years)
ABV: 43%

Price: $45

White background tasting shot with the Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend bottle and a glass of whiskey next to it.
“Our award-winning, high-rye Bourbon Whiskey is aged for a minimum of three years, in charred, new American oak barrels, and blended to reveal the unique qualities of the Bourbon Whiskey. Deep, honey-amber hue with pronounced aromas of butterscotch, candied orange and apple; dry cacao and brown sugar envelop the tongue as the spirit lingers with notes of vanilla and white pepper.” – Breckenridge Distillery

Tasting Notes

Medium caramel

Metallic herbal, raw corn, vanilla, coconut, sugary apple juice, butterscotch and some pops of spirit, mustiness, wood and minerality.

Very light, not much happening and what is happening isn’t interesting. It’s basic, rather watered down and youthful.

Wood, grits, imitation vanilla, metallic, herbal, dried fruit, hazelnut syrup, and an odd alcohol pop with a bit of minerality.

The aroma isn’t unpleasant, but the palate is getting there. A weird, cloying, and slightly metallic note appears as the Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend opens. I can’t quite place the exact note, but it gets more prominent with each sip and I’m not enjoying it.

Short -> Raw wood, alcohol, flour, copper and raw grain dissipate quickly.

Not balanced, light-thin body with a watery feel.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend – Overall Thoughts and Score

As it opens it takes on more of an artificial herbal quality with growing notes of raw wood and metal. These notes keep creeping higher and higher till it’s all I can focus on and comes across as a raw and artificial. It’s like someone read a description of bourbon and tried to make it using things around the kitchen. I don’t like it and neither did the Southern California Whiskey Club. It came 11/20 in our last blind tasting with some of our members not wanting to mark it as bourbon or rye.

In reviews, I typically avoid talking about price and value because it’s relative to everyone, but I seriously can’t believe they charge $45 for this. I could get two bottles of Wild Turkey 101 for that and know exactly what’s in it: Wild Turkey Bourbon. This is the reason I avoid hard-to-identify products like this Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend: they’re rarely worth the money or the wear on your liver.

SCORE: 1.5/5

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Label

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, A Blend Review $45


This is not a good whiskey, I don’t exactly know who the market is for this, but there is a LOT of better whiskey out there at half the price.
  • Nose (1.5)
  • Palate (1.5)
  • Finish (1.5)
  • BBF (1.5)
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Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review
Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey, Blend Review

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