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Breckenridge Distillery

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by Marni Patterson (subscribe)
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Published December 19th 2021
Award-winning whiskey with a Rocky Mountain flair
Denverites who like to explore their surroundings never run out of things to do. There are national and state parks to visit, ghost towns to explore, hiking trails and skiing. Breckenridge is popular as a day trip and weekend getaway because it's only an 80-mile drive. Besides world-class skiing, visitors can enjoy amazing alpine scenery and summer activities such as fishing, hiking, and white-water rafting. As a former mining town, Breckenridge is full of restaurants, shops, and saloons to explore as well as wineries and distilleries. One of the most popular is the Breckenridge Distillery.

breckenridge distillery
Breckenridge Distillery (c) Marni Patterson

At 9,600' above sea level, the Breckenridge Distillery has the distinction of being the world's highest distillery. It was founded in 2008 and released its first vodka and bourbon in 2011. Since then, it has gained recognition as an award-winning producer of crafted, blended bourbons.

Breckenridge Bourbon is recognized as one of the top three bourbons in the U.S. and is a four-time recipient of the Best American Blended award from the World Whiskies Awards (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). It was named Bourbon of the Year in 2011 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, 2019 Colorado Distillery of the Year at the New York Int'l Spirits Competition and won the Icons of Whiskey award for Brand Innovator of the Year in 2018.

award-winning-whiskey, high-rye mash, breckenridge bourbon
Award-Winning High-Rye Mash, American-Style Whisky (c) Marni Patterson

Breckenridge Bourbon is a high-rye mash, American-style whiskey that's made with pure water from melted snow and glaciers high in the Rocky Mountains. The water's unique ph balance adds a distinctive flavor and texture because it isn't filtered for the vodka and is only slightly filtered for the whiskey.

After being aged for a minimum of three years in charred, new American oak barrels, the mixture emerges as a deep, honey-amber Bourbon Whiskey with dry cacao and brown sugar flavors, butterscotch, candied orange and apple aromas, and lingering spirits of vanilla and white pepper.

charred oak barrels, aged bourbon, new American oak
Breckenridge Bourbons are aged for a minimum of three years in charred, new American oak barrels (c) Marni Patterson

Breckenridge Distillery was founded by Bryan Nolt, a physician who had an appreciation for good-quality scotch and whiskey. He studied what he liked about it, learned how to make it, and worked to address the challenges that are unique to distilling and aging at high altitudes. It was never his vision to create one of the fastest-growing craft distilleries in the country, but that's what happened because of the quality of his whiskey and the guest experience he offers.

breckenridge distillery, bryan nolt, founder
Bryan Nolt, founder of Breckenridge Distillery (c) Breckenridge Distillery

Visitors can take a 60-minute private tour to learn about the history of bourbon, why the quality of barrels is important and other fun facts. They can also taste product that is still aging and hasn't been released when it's available.

breckenridge distillery, private tour
Take a 60-Minute Private Tour of the Distillery (c) Breckenridge Distillery

Complimentary tastings are available several times daily and include a choice of any two foundational spirit products, including, Breckenridge Bourbon, Breckenridge Vodka, Breckenridge Gin, Breckenridge Pear Vodka, Breckenridge Chili Chile Vodka, Breckenridge Espresso Vodka, Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey, Breckenridge Spiced Rum, Aquavit and Breckenridge Bitter.

breckenridge distillery, bourbon tasting
Complimentary tastings are available several times daily (c) Marni Patterson

Additional products can be added for a small fee per sample, or visitors can opt to sample three high-end whiskies for an extra charge. For an ultimate experience, add chef-prepared snacks such as Southern Spiced Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, Glazed Pork Belly and Old-Fashioned Bourbon Glazed Pecans to your tasting experience.

If you're interested in an interactive experience, become a "Master Blender for a Day." Introduced in Summer 2021, this is a new program that lets you work side-by-side with an expert distiller. You learn how to create whiskey by breaking down aggregate flavors and refining a mix by mouthfeel and taste. Then you'll hand bottle the whiskey you've created, add a customized label and can bottle extra for family and friends.

breckenridge distillery, master blender for a day, make your own whiskey
Become a Master Blender for a Day and learn to make your own whiskey (c) Breckenridge Distillery

Breckenridge Distillery will show you a good time during your visit regardless of whether you decide to taste or blend. Whichever experience you choose, you don't need to worry about getting home or where you're staying because they have a complimentary shuttle that runs daily.

Breckenridge Distillery
1925 Airport Rd
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 547-9759

Tasting Room
137 S Main St
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 547-9759


60-Minute Private Tour
1-5 people - $200
6-10 people - $400

Spirits Tastings
First two products are free
Extra samples - $1 each
Choice of three high-end whiskeys - $8.
Single Barrel sample - $10

Upgraded Tasting Experience
$25 - $75 per person

Master Blender in the Whiskey Blending Lab
$1,200 for 1-4 persons
$300 for each additional person
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Phone: (970) 547-9759
Where: 1925 Airport Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424
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