“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.
Appearance: The 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.
Palate: I 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: The 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.
Appearance: Slightly darker than the Rye, this Bourbon presented as a brassy amber. A medium-thick rim formed wavy tears that raced to the pool.
Nose: Corn, 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.
Palate: A 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 slightly oily.
Finish: 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 Whiskey
Last 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.
Appearance: This whiskey was several shades darker than the previous Bourbon and bronze-colored. A thin rim produced slow, syrupy tears.
Nose: The 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 Chex cereal.
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.
Finish: 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 Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.