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Published on May 25th, 2012 | by Greg

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Breckenridge: Vodka, Bourbon And Bitters!

You can’t help but smile at a dis­tillery that bills it­self, not-quite-straight­faced, as “the world’s high­est”. Sure, they use snowmelt from the Rocky Moun­tains, and ap­par­ent­ly make their spir­its at 9600 feet above sea lev­el. And they seem quite sin­cere when they sug­gest drop­ping by the ski town for a tour and com­pli­men­ta­ry tast­ing. Plus, their founder has a man­i­festo, and de­scribes the pro­cess of tak­ing the idea and mak­ing it re­al­i­ty. They even grow their own cur­rants and goose­ber­ries!

To­day, we’re tak­ing a close look at Breck­en­ridge Dis­tillery, and three of their prod­ucts in par­tic­u­lar. Let’s touch on each in turn, start­ing with the Vod­ka. In­ter­est­ing pack­ag­ing, even the lo­gos are dif­fer­ent be­tween each of the trio, and this one had a mod­ern feel. Run­ning 80 proof, and made us­ing corn, it’s su­per-clear and ul­tra-clean. It’s al­so un­usu­al- many vod­kas of­fer lit­tle to the palate af­ter a cou­ple of sips, but this one made our tasters con­sid­er care­ful­ly and keep drink­ing. Notes of for­est are strong with this one, fresh and crisp with a lit­tle wood and a lit­tle sweet­ness. Chilled and straight, it’s im­pres­sive­ly drink­able, and we liked stir­ring in some fresh herbs to bring out the creamy and al­most win­ter­green hints. Avail­able now, and high­ly rec­om­mend­ed, at around $27.

Bit­ters of­ten come in small, tiny por­tions, since you’re typ­i­cal­ly meant to add a few drops to any giv­en drink. So we were im­pressed, and a bit con­fused, when the bot­tle of Breck­en­ridge Bit­ters was quite large (and with a beau­ti­ful bot­tle and la­bel). But this is more of an aper­tif, it turns out, and sip­pable straight. It’s al­so dif­fer­ent from most oth­er bit­ters that we’ve tried, more along the lines of a clas­sic herbal liqueur, with aro­mat­ics that re­mind one slight­ly of Cam­pari or Fer­net, but with much less licorice and more of a bal­anced di­ges­tif. The stronger notes are co­rian­der, or­ange, and all­spice, al­most fes­tive seem­ing, and would make for a great ad­di­tion to baked goods. We had some straight, a per­fect af­ter-din­ner drink, but def­i­nite­ly sug­gest ex­per­i­ment­ing with ap­ple, bour­bon, brandy- we made a Ne­groni twist that worked well too. About $30.

Fi­nal­ly, we’d be re­miss not to men­tion the Breck­en­ridge Col­orado Bour­bon Whiskey. 86 proof, and made from a mash of rye, corn, and bar­ley, it looked good, if light. And that im­pres­sion car­ried through, mean­ing that it was al­most dan­ger­ous­ly drink­able as a good way to start the night, or to in­tro­duce folks to stronger bour­bons- the qual­i­ty is clear­ly bet­ter and the fla­vors much deep­er than lots of your run-of-the-mill spir­its. Aged for two years, it’s not smoky or peaty, but sup­ple- caramel and a lit­tle vanil­la, and some def­i­nite oak that hasn’t had a chance to re­al­ly sink in, and a lit­tle bit of raisin. The burn is there, and cer­tain­ly sat­is­fy­ing, but doesn’t have the legs of a few we’ve tried. For the price, though, this is an im­pres­sive bot­tle, and is dis­tinc­tive­ly dif­fer­ent. Ex­pect to spend around $40 a bot­tle.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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