What do art and whiskey have to do with each other? Probably more than you might imagine. It takes a fair amount of inspiration and drive to create either, especially if you are starting from the ground up. At Breckenridge Distillery in Breckenridge, Colorado, the drive toward creativity led first to a distillery in 2008 and then to a collaboration with an artist in 2019.

Read more about the Collectors Art Series from American Whiskey Magazine.

About the Artist

Detour’s philosophy with creating art on various platforms is all about trying to compose a piece that lends itself to amplify that platform. Detour is known for his bold, colorful portraits, tackling issues ranging from the serious to the light-hearted. The tools he uses to develop his work are not limited to any one medium, rather his goal is to capture every sense of his audience and be engulfed in the canvas. Some portraits open a window into the inner workings of a certain community, while other paintings simply try to enhance the audience’s experience.

About the Founder

The Breckenridge Distillery is Bryan’s obsession, born by combining unbridled passion to create with a maniacal love of Whiskey. As a busy doctor, he didn’t have plans to enter a new career, but after returning from a Scotland Whisky pilgrimage, Bryan was fly fishing Mohawk Lakes above Breckenridge with his ER doc friend from Vail, catching rainbow trout, they vented out the usual stresses of their demanding profession until something unexpected happened. “The load on my back eased up a bit as we talked less about work and more about Whiskey,” said Bryan. While sharing a picnic lunch and a decadent bottle of wine, an opera singer’s voice bounced off the cliff walls of the water’s edge, “and my thoughts turned to capturing this moment and putting it in a bottle,” he said. It’s a rare thing when major career changes occur in waders at 12,073 ft.

Breckenridge Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Whiskey and art are about passion and pleasure. Please enjoy this bottle from The Collector’s Art Series as we blend the artistry of Whiskey with the visual and emotional splendor of graffiti.

46% ABV
Tasting notes: Aromatic butterscotch, candied orange and vanilla overwhelm the nose, leading to a complex palate of caramel apple and dried apricot. Subtle notes of dark stone fruits and cacao. Brown sugar and light oak cleanse your palate on the finish, leaving you reaching for more.

What People are Saying

Some combos are fundamental: champagne and strawberries; Starsky and Hutch; peas and carrots. But some pairings are more obtuse, yet inherently natural. For Bryan Nolt, founder and CEO of Breckenridge Distillery, who creates art out of corn, rye and barley, the confluence of bourbon and art was inevitable.

After all, it takes the perfect blend of ingredients, pure Rocky Mountain water and time to create one of most the highly awarded craft bourbons in one of the highest distilleries on the planet.

– Written by Katie Coakley


Blending Art and Whiskey – A Perfect Pairing
Some combos are fundamental: champagne and strawberries; Starsky and Hutch; peas and carrots. But some pairings are more obtuse, yet inherently natural. For Bryan Nolt, founder and CEO of Breckenridge Distillery, who creates art out of corn, rye and barley, the confluence of bourbon and art was inevitable.

After all, it takes the perfect blend of ingredients, pure Rocky Mountain water and time to create one of most the highly awarded craft bourbons in one of the highest distilleries on the planet. In 2018, Whisky Magazine awarded Breckenridge Distillery the Icons of Whisky award for Brand Innovator of the Year, exemplifying the creativity and innovation that is inherent in each bottle.

On July 30, 2019, Breckenridge Distillery embarked upon a unique collaboration: its inaugural Collectors Art Series, which illustrates the art of blending whiskey through the art of blending color. Denver-based muralist Thomas “Detour” Evans created a “whiskey barrel mural” on 10 Breckenridge Distillery barrels to illuminate a unique blend of these two crafts for both art and whiskey enthusiasts to enjoy.

“Proper blending is an art, not easily learned, and something I’m sincerely passionate about,” Nolt said. “We wanted to emphasize this connection with another type of art that people could identify with and hopefully pause for a second or two, connect the dots, and really enjoy the art in their dram. Smell and taste are just as powerful as vision, and we think focus helps you to intensify these subtle pleasures.”

Choosing Detour for this first collaboration was almost a foregone conclusion. The eye-catching artist, who is known for his bold, colorful portraits, created a vibrant scene on the barrels that blends the beauty of Breckenridge with his signature portraiture that is both relatable yet inspiring.

“My philosophy with creating art on various platforms is all about trying to compose a piece that lends itself to amplify that platform,” Detour said. “So, for the barrels, creating a composition that has large color blocks, but also relates to the actual subject matter—so, Breckenridge-in-the-mountains type of the thing—and then having a figure, which can give you more of an attachment to it. That is the concept I was going for when creating on this platform/canvas.”

The finished barrel mural was on display to the public at the Breckenridge Distillery through September. The 100% grain-to-bottle whiskey was then released for sale at select Colorado locations in October. Each bottle was adorned with a special label highlighting the collaboration, artwork and the passion behind the Breckenridge Distillery.

“I think the artistry of making and blending whiskey parallels the passion of artists like Detour and the splendor his works deliver,” Nolt said. “This collaboration is simply about evoking those emotions through graffiti and the artistry of whiskey.”

The Detour series is the first in the Breckenridge Distillery Barrel Art Collectors Series. The second iteration of this series, featuring work from another artist, will premier in 2020.

Read more

Read more about the Collectors Art Series from American Whiskey Magazine.

What do art and whiskey have to do with each other? Probably more than you might imagine. It takes a fair amount of inspiration and drive to create either, especially if you are starting from the ground up. At Breckenridge Distillery in Breckenridge, Colorado, the drive toward creativity led first to a distillery in 2008 and then to a collaboration with an artist in 2019.

READ MORE

Breckenridge Distillery Blends Bourbon and Art with New Collectors Series

“Proper blending of whiskey is an art, not easily learned, and something I’m sincerely passionate about,” said Nolt. “With this project, we want to emphasize this connection with another type of art that people can identify with and hopefully pause for a second or two, connect the dots, and really enjoy the art in their dram.
READ MORE

Sipping and Savoring the Art of Whiskey

Take a trip to the Breckenridge Distillery—the world’s highest distillery at 9,600 feet—and you’ll find evidence of the owners’ passion for art (and Bill Murray) adorning the walls of the restaurant. But this summer, the award-winning distillery displayed the connection between art and whiskey to a whole new medium: whiskey barrels.
READ MORE

Holiday Gift Guide

Some combos are fundamental, but some pairings are more obtuse, yet inherently natural. For Bryan Nolt, founder and CEO of Breckenridge Distillery, who creates art out of corn, rye, and barley, the confluence of bourbon and art was inevitable. They are telling the story of blending whiskey and art.
READ MORE

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