Breckenridge Dark Arts Malt Whiskey Is a Big Departure From Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Breckenridge Dark Arts Malt Whiskey Is a Big Departure From Bourbon

By Nino Marchetti / July 29, 2016

Whiskey lovers know Colorado’s Breckenridge Distillery for its bourbon, made from a blend of sourced whiskey and spirit they mash/ferment/distill in-house. They look to be taking a bit of a departure from that now, however, with a new American single malt known as Dark Arts.

Breckenridge Dark Arts

Breckenridge Dark Arts, according to the information I’m seeing appear online from different sources, is at least four years in age. It is made from:

a mash of barley, and each grain is a starch packet wrapped in its own casing. The process of mashing and fermentation is designed to efficiently convert these sugars to ethanol. In mastering the Dark Arts we chose to buck tradition by sacrificing the yield of these fermentable sugars for flavors of intense cacao and smoky caramel.

The American single malt whiskey, as it is presented on the shelf, comes in a rather nice quality box and a good looking decanter bottle, reflecting more the heritage of a Scotch and less that of your typical retail bourbon. It makes sense it would be shown off like this, given that founder Bryan Nolt reportedly started Breckenridge with the creation of something like this in mind. There’s even more on the horizon, with a “heavily peat-smoked” variety coming perhaps later this year.

Breckenridge Dark Arts Whiskey Distilled from Malt Mash is bottled at 46% ABV. Price wise, I’m seeing it drop in around $300 per 750 ml bottle should you seek one out. There’s no question this is a steep price for a young whiskey of this nature. It makes me think of Bainbridge’s Yama Whiskey from a few months back, and also of the Hillrock single malts out of New York. All great bottlings in their own right, but expensive in comparison to their bourbon kin. With these different expressions, are we seeing the arrival of high end American single malts and related whiskies for the first time? Will the market support it? I guess we will see.