“Broken Top lies in the eastern segment of Oregon’s Cascade Range known as the High Cascades. An extinct stratovolcano and part of the prolific Cascade Volcanic Arc, Broken Top is known for its distinct jagged silhouette resulting from ages of glacial erosion. It stands as a beacon for daring hikers and mountaineers. Broken Top Whiskeys reflect the adventurous spirit of the Cascades.” – Cascade Spirits
Today we’re embarking on a
sipping adventure that originates in Sisters, Oregon. That’s where Cascade
Spirits is located. Its CEO, Chris Joseph, founded Cascade Spirits in
his garage while still in college in 2012, with infused vodkas. In 2016, he
founded Wyld, a brand that sells cannabis edibles and CBD beverages.
Other brands within the
portfolio include Wild Root, which offers vodka, gin, and Ready To Drink
(RTD) cocktails; Sun Ranch, whose catalog includes vodka, gin, rum, and
whiskey; Good Tide, featuring fruit-infused spirits; and Broken Top Mountain
Whiskey, with two Bourbons and a Rye on the menu.
And that’s what we’re
ordering. We’ll taste all three neat from Glencairn glasses, render our
opinions, and provide the final recommendations.
Broken Top Whiskeys are distilled
and aged for two years in Indiana. You know what that means: MGP a/k/a Ross & Squibb.
Before we can do the #DrinkCurious thing, I must pause and thank Cascade
Spirits for providing me with samples of each in exchange for my
no-strings-attached, honest reviews.
Straight Rye Whiskey
The mashbill is undisclosed.
MGP offers two rye recipes: 51% and 95%. It is packaged at 43.75% ABV (87.5°)
and a suggested $44.95 price tag.
blonde-amber liquid formed a thick rim before releasing slow, wavy tears.
Nose: The bouquet
smelled of mint, strawberries, vanilla, and oak. Inhaling through my lips
brought a wave of vanilla.
encountered a soft, airy mouthfeel. The front of my palate came across as vanilla
and corn, suggesting this is likely MGP’s 51% rye mashbill. Midway through was
rye spice and caramel, while the back had mild oak notes and clove.
finish kept the oak and clove from the back but added mint and strawberry. It
was short to medium in duration.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Broken
Top Straight Rye offers easily identifiable flavors. Little exists to
differentiate itself from other youthful MGP ryes. I am satisfied by its
current proof; otherwise, the mintiness may have taken complete control over
the whiskey. As it lacks anything memorable, I toss my Bar rating at it.
Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The mashbill is undisclosed
short of comprising of corn, rye, and barley. That limits it to one of two MGP Bourbon
recipes: 21% rye and 36% rye. It is packaged at 43.75% ABV (87.5°) and a
suggested $44.95 price tag.
darker than the Rye, this Bourbon presented as a brassy amber. A medium-thick
rim formed wavy tears that raced to the pool.
vanilla, and rye spice were easily discerned. Banana bread and lemon came with
further effort. Corn was present when I drew the air through my lips.
considerable amount of ginger spice and peanuts were on the front, while the
middle suggested flavors of nutmeg and caramel. I tasted oak, allspice, and that
bubblegum you get from a packet of baseball cards. It had a medium body and was
Surprisingly, that bubblegum became more prominent as the finish continued. The
nutmeg, allspice, and ginger remained through its longer duration.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: It was
nice to have that sweet and spicy back and finish, which, in my opinion, were the
best parts of this Bourbon. It didn’t taste young, perhaps due to its lower
proof, and I commend Cascade Spirits for what it did. This one is an easy
sipper on a summer evening and would make for a decent cocktail base. As such,
it wins my Bottle rating.
113 Proof Straight Bourbon
up is the 113° (56.5% ABV) Bourbon. The label states the same ingredients as
the 87.5° Bourbon, meaning it is one of those two MGP mashbills. The extra heft
commands a $54.99 price tag.
whiskey was several shades darker than the previous Bourbon and bronze-colored.
A thin rim produced slow, syrupy tears.
aroma included corn, cinnamon, and butterscotch. There was an ethanol punch
that grabbed my attention. When I brought the air into my mouth, I tasted Corn
Palate: A silky
texture greeted my tongue. Honey and cinnamon graham crackers hit the front of
my palate. A tidal wave of caramel coalesced with nutmeg midway through. As it
ebbed, I tasted oak, tobacco, and ginger.
Slightly spicy and long-lasting, the finish featured ginger, caramel, tobacco,
and cinnamon graham crackers. It left a warming sensation in my throat.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Let me
get one thing out of the way: The 113 Proof Straight Bourbon is the hands-down winner
of this tasting. It could easily pass as a whiskey twice its age, if not a
smidge more. The $10.00 premium for the 30 extra proof points is more than a
bargain. My Bottle rating is very well earned.
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.