I've often written about the phenomenon of American whiskey bottlers who don't distill, of which there are many, but lately, there is a growing trend in the opposite direction: distillers who are bottling sourced whiskey. High West and Prichard's started with sourced whiskey prior to distilling their own, but now even some craft distilleries that have their own distillate are looking to buy aged whiskey. Recently, we've seen a new group of sourced whiskeys from craft distillers including a bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery in Colorado, Temperance Trader Bourbon from the Bull Run Distillery in Oregon and Old Scout Bourbon from the Smooth Ambler Distillery in West Virginia. Add to that growing group Breaking & Entering Bourbon, a sourced bourbon from the St. George Distillery in Alameda, California.
The St. George distillery is one of the older craft distilleries. They started with brandies and then spread to vodka, malt whiskey, absinthe and many other spirits. But Breaking & Entering is the first whiskey they have released that was made elsewhere.
According to the St. George website, Breaking & Entering was made from 80 different Kentucky bourbon barrels ranging from five to seven years old. We don't know if those 80 barrels all came from one distillery or were from multiple distilleries.
Interestingly, Breaking & Entering is not designated as "straight" on the label. That could mean that some of the whiskey is less than two years old or that it doesn't meet the definition of "straight bourbon" for some other reason (or they could have simply chosen not to use the term, which is not required).
Breaking & Entering Bourbon, 43% abv ($34)
The nose on this has light rye, peanuts and some savory notes. The palate comes on with dry white wine notes, maybe even some apple in the background. Late palate I get some rye spice which continues into the finish with a bit of bitterness.
With 80 barrels in the mix, this could be a little bit of everything, but the nose resembles some Brown-Forman whiskeys I've had. I would guess there is some Heaven Hill in there as the palate reminds me most of some of the Evan Williams Single Barrels with maybe even some Four Roses in the mix.
This is a pretty unique flavor profile, though overall, it's a bit light to my taste.