It’s been far too long since my last Bourbon Street post, and I hope years won’t go by between them, but here’s the first one for 2013.
And what’s up for 2013? A bourbon from Alameda, CA — “It’s where they keep the nuclear wessels. …Nuc-le-ar wes-sels.” * I know, “Bourbon from California? How can that be?” Well, it be. Granted, Breaking & Entering Bourbon isn’t actually made in Alameda, rather it’s a blend from a number of bourbons from Kentucky, and St. George Spirits (the distiller in Alameda known for their Hanger One Vodka) puts it all together, bottles it and ships it off to market for discerning bourbon drinkers to savor.
This bourbon is fairly new and is novel in that it’s one of the few blends on the market. I heard about it from a mixologist in Oakland who was on a TV show I’m directing, and she used it in a holiday punch she was making for the Christmas episode of the show. Well, I’m not really into holiday punches, but I am into trying new bourbons. So off I went to my local BevMo to buy a bottle of this local(ish) find.
BevMo often has little note cards by their sprits, beers and wines, and while I don’t have the exact verbiage from the note, here’s how they describe Breaking & Entering on their website:
Breaking & Entering is a “super bourbon” made up of 80 different barrels ranging from 5-7 years in age. The result is a bright and spicy bourbon, with notes of cherry cola, cinnamon and cloves.
Well? Did I taste all those “notes” in the bottle I consumed? Not really. The strongest flavors were vanilla and cloves (and yes, I realize the folks at BevMo didn’t taste any vanilla, but I did). At 86 proof, it’s not going to make you legless after a glass, but maybe because I do like my bourbon a little stronger (and the color a little darker), it was a bit light to me and didn’t pack the punch I usually crave.
Would it mix will in cocktails? Certainly! It has enough character that it will stand out when combined with other ingredients, so give it a try. At about $35 a bottle, the price point is one that won’t bust the bank. Plus, if you like trying spirits that strive for local peculiarity, this may be a good place to start. After all, how many blended bourbons can you name off the top of your head (See what I did there? I set up some comment bait), and how many bourbons do you know have “Alameda, California” stamped on the bottle? But novelty isn’t the only reason to try Breaking & Entering. Despite my minor qualms, Breaking & Entering is a good bourbon that’s not too sweet and has enough balance in flavors to satisfy even the most casual bourbon drinkers.
Three out of five tumblers.
*Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home