Review: Breckenridge Reserve (New Orleans Bourbon Festival pick)

I can’t believe the New Orleans Bourbon Festival is right around the corner. Last year’s inaugural event proved to be a success. This year the festival’s founders are cranking things up several notches. I’ll have a post on what’s in store for the 2018 outing soon. In the meantime, I wanted to take a look at the New Orleans Bourbon Festival’s selection of Breckenridge Reserve.

Colorado’s Breckenridge Distillery uses a combination of their own distillate alongside high-rye bourbon barrels from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana for their final product. Here’s how the distillery describes their Reserve Blend:

The reserve blend program was created to showcase qualities of our bourbon that discerning connoisseurs can appreciate. It consists of four distinct blends that offer the customer a special invitation to see the beauty of the bourbon aging process and the affects of charring that come out in these expressions. Still soft and luscious, these blends capture a different take on the way bourbon can grow up and present itself at maturity.

The blend was selected by two of the festival’s founders, Barbara and Tracy Napolitano. As of the writing of this post, Dorignac’s Supermarket is the only place you can buy this whiskey at $50 a bottle. I was told it’s coming to select restaurants in the New Orleans area soon.

The nose is a bit aromatic, with lightly toasted rye grain, spice and brown sugar. Some young, sweet corn also makes itself known. The palate is a nice balance of sweet and spicy, with caramel apple, ground cinnamon, corn pudding and a touch of vanilla extract. The finish is spicy, featuring a hint of cinnamon candy and a slight “green” note.

Overall, this particular Breckenridge Reserve has a nice flavor profile. Like I mentioned earlier, I really like the careful balance of sweet and spicy here. The high rye content of the whiskies used really shine through. The caramel apple note was a welcome surprise. A couple of things also stood out. First, the bourbon tastes a little young. Not immature, mind you, but young. There’s probably two year old bourbon in this blend. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s worth noting. Secondly, I wish the whiskey was bottled at a higher proof. I’m not one of those people who think the only whiskey worth drinking is barrel proof whiskey. I think the 86 proof here leaves a slightly thin mouthfeel. Minor gripes aside, I’ve enjoyed the four or five pours of this bourbon over the last week or so. 7.5/10

Thanks to the New Orleans Bourbon Festival for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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