Today’s review is of Breaking & Entering bourbon, a fitting whiskey to review following Independence Day weekend since bourbon is a domestic product, and the United States is responsible for way too much “breaking and entering” over the course of its time. No matter what side of the fence you fall to on this one in terms of whether or not the United States should have broken in and entered, we have done it an awful lot. In the bourbon world, Breaking & Entering is a small-batch bourbon out of St. George’s Spirits in California. None of this bourbon is distilled on site, hence the name of the whiskey. The guys at St. George’s went to Kentucky and came up about 400 or so barrels of bourbon, which they have then blended into a series of small-batch releases. There is no age statement on this bourbon, which leads me to guess that the ages of the bourbon barrels brought back probably varied. The specific batch that I am reviewing is No. 050624, and it is bottled at 86 proof (43% abv).
The nose smells of cornbread, caramel, banana bread, and rye. The palate brings some bitter oak, toffee, caramel, banana bread, and herbal components. The finish is medium, slightly tannic, and a wee bit sweet with caramel. With a bit of time in the bottle, this got a little sweeter, but overall it held well with time.
In theory, taking the best of Kentucky’s different flavor profiles and turning into a bourbon-blending playground is a great idea. In practice, it is a good result, too. St. George’s has succeeded in making a straight-forward bourbon that gives you an overview of what Kentucky bourbon is made of. Obviously, the specific potential of individual distilleries is lost in the final product, and I do not think Breaking & Entering bourbon is an instance where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. That said, this is a good bourbon, and it is very reasonably priced for a craft distillery; the only problem is that none of this bourbon is actually small-batch craft bourbon, just bourbon blended into small batch at a craft distillery. My grade: B-/C+. Price: $30-35/750ml. This is definitely worth a shot, and since it varies from batch to batch, your next experience with Breaking & Entering could be a memorable one.