When we sampled the first iteration of St. George’s Breaking & Entering over a decade ago the whiskey was a straightforward, well-executed blend of Kentucky bourbons aged between 5 and 7 years. We got the opportunity to discuss that whiskey, among several other spirits, during a sit-down earlier this year with St. George owner and distiller Lance Winters. He shared that, due to the exploding cost of well-aged Kentucky bourbon, the distillery decided to discontinue the original bottling instead of reducing the quality. Somewhere around 2018, however, new opportunities arose with unnamed Kentucky and Tennessee distilleries, and the label was resurrected, this time as an American whiskey with a significantly altered formulation.
Breaking & Entering American Whiskey is reportedly a four-grain recipe (corn, rye, barley, and wheat) created from the blending of sourced Tennessee rye, Tennessee bourbon, and St. George’s own single malt, according to Winters. I’m not entirely sure where the wheat component comes from (Kentucky, I’d assume), but as with most sourced products, there’s always a little mystery. Let’s check it out.
The aroma is a bit gritty but still shows a nice depth and complexity with early notes of peanut shells and applesauce that give way to toffee pudding and cinnamon toast. With time to open up, it still remains somewhat grain-driven, almost malty, but a slightly smoky caramelized sweetness helps to elevate things. The palate is light bodied with a restrained sweetness, a bit thin at first, but the flavors quickly build and add bulk. A nutty entry of pralines and hazelnut transitions to cinnamon sugar, barrel char, and a gingery spice on the midpalate before a generous finish of citrus peel and chocolate covered raisins. It’s certainly a very different and more interesting whiskey than its predecessor, and one that better demonstrates St. George’s knack for unique blends.