Review: Breaker Bourbon
Review: Breaker Bourbon
The town of Buellton, California is better known as part of the Sideways-famed Southern California wine road. But it turns out they’re making whiskey there, too.
Breaker Bourbon is sourced whiskey from our good friends in Indiana, crafted from barrels at least 5 years old. Each batch is a blend of just 8 barrels of whiskey, which makes this pretty small batch stuff, to be sure. There’s no word on the original mashbill, but it’s made from a clearly typical mix of corn/barley/rye, not wheat.
This is easy sippin’ Bourbon, with some surprising nuance to it. The nose is slightly corny, with quiet vanilla behind it. The palate is where this spirit shines. It starts with caramel corn, then takes off with notes of taffy, Sugar Babies, graham crackers, and some menthol. Lots going on here, but it’s all in the same microverse, and the balance is spot on. Fairly soft for most of the way, the finish brings the burlier wood component to the forefront along with a touch of licorice, and the higher proof ensures the whiskey stays with you for a long while. This is an excellent fireside sipper, and overall a solid example of what Bourbon can be, even when it’s bottled on the other side of the country.
Reviewed: Batch #3, bottle #242. 90 proof.
Update: Breaker offers some additional production information: “True we source barrels and they are corn, rye, and malted barley. What happens when they arrive at our distillery is what we believe has the most impact on the bourbon before our skilled distiller creates his small-batch blends. Being located in Buellton we have coastal humidity that rolls down the Santa Rita Hills through the evening and early morning. During the days the temperature increases daily between 40-50 degrees. The barrels breathe very heavy and our friends at Cal Poly tell us we age about 4 times faster than they do in Kentucky. We blend and barrel each batch in Buellton.”
A- / $40 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
This package is deliberately misleading to consumers. I understand that federal regulations require only that you identify where a spirit was “bottled,” but this label goes further to claim that it was “produced” in California. If it was mashed, distilled, and barreled in Indiana, it should say that on the label.
Funny how all NDPs think (or at least say) that while MGPI does 95% of the work, the last 5% are the most transformative and influential on the whiskey. If you are going to play that game, at least tell us how long you aged the barrels in your bourbon barrel heaven of a town, because I don’t see any evidence that the barrels were there any longer than it took them to bottle them.
That burns my hide! I have bottle #65 of batch #1 and I paid a premium for it. Since I live close to the distillery, I’ll be making the drive to see what they’ll give me for that bottle. They owe me for the false advertising.