When you think about all of the reasons why people flock to Colorado, a few things definitely come to mind. From the picturesque Rocky Mountains to the beautiful weather to the astronomical number of outdoor activities you can explore—there is no end to the excitement.
But as you dig a little deeper and immerse yourself in the fragrance of the people—nothing says Colorado like our local art and distilling communities. And, when the two of them come together to illustriously create a project that truly represents the beauty and nature that surrounds us—it becomes an artistic match made in heaven.
Collectors Art Series
The world’s highest and most awarded craft distillery in the country Breckenridge Distillery recently combined the art of blending whiskey and color in the second edition of the Collectors Art Series, a limited release bottle with local Denver street artist and muralist, Alexandrea Pangburn.
For its second annual Collectors Art Series, Breckenridge Distillery enlisted talented female artist Alexandrea Pangburn to create a custom label for its new, limited release XO Cognac Cask Finish Whiskey. The new Breckenridge XO Cognac Cask Finish Whiskey label will feature Pangburn’s flora and fauna-inspired artwork on the Breckenridge Distillery mural behind Number Thirty Eight taproom in Denver’s RiNo Arts District.
Partnering with Breckenridge Distillery on this project has been an exciting venture. Pangburn is the first female artist to be selected to showcase her work on a bottle. “I’m very honored to have my art on a whiskey label in a very male-dominated industry,” says Pangburn. “My hope is that this partnership opens the eyes of female artists that they have the capability to do this as well.”
When Art Meets Taste
Featuring inviting aromatics of grape with a hint of clove and cinnamon, the special edition whiskey is now available in limited quantities exclusively at the Breckenridge Distillery and the Main Street Tasting Room in Breckenridge, Colorado for $125.
“I’ve always had a passion for art, which led me to distill whiskey in the first place. The Collectors Art Series is special to Breckenridge Distillery because it allows us to highlight local artists making an impact in their community like Alex is doing in Colorado,” says Bryan Nolt, Founder and CEO of Breckenridge Distillery.
“Alex’s focus on conservation and representation of the natural world around her through art made her a perfect partner for our second Collectors Art Series. We’re thrilled to bring her art to life in this limited-edition whiskey.”
About the Artist
Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, muralist Alexandrea Pangburn cultivated not only a deep love and appreciation for bourbon but also for animals, which serve as the main source of inspiration in her art. What started as a side-gig painting friends’ and family’s pets, Pangburn’s hobby turned into a full-time career as an artist in 2017 when she moved to Denver.
Today, she is the Director of Curation for the RiNo Art District where she plays a large role in connecting local artists to opportunities in the district. And, while her work is something she holds close to her heart—her talent has been noticed by many.
A member of the RiNo Arts District, Pangburn also founded the organization BABE WALLS in 2019 to create a community among women and non-binary artists in the street art field—a space typically dominated by male artists.
Ultimately, her goal is to continue to uplift other female artists and help them realize that they can do whatever they want to do in life—and not to be held back by a male-dominated industry. “It’s been an unbelievable experience to be a part of this project and to put a label on the Collector Art Series.”
Inspiration Behind The Project
Pangburn’s passion for birds started when she moved to Colorado. The Western Tanager inspires much of her work in our state and was featured on her first mural in Colorado, so naturally she wanted to include it on the new Breckenridge XO Cognac Cask Finish label to bring her work full circle.
The painting on the label also features a fox character–an ode to Pangburn’s hometown in Lexington where she created a mural with the same character and local Breckenridge flora and fauna, including the alpine flowers that will be blossoming in a few months.
“Wherever I’m painting, my goal is to make the public more aware of the animals we’re sharing a space with. Over the years, my art has shifted into animal conservation and education to bring more light and awareness to the local communities,” she adds.
About Breckenridge Distillery
Founded in 2008, the Breckenridge Distillery is touted as the “World’s Highest Distillery” and is most widely known for its blended bourbon whiskey, a high-rye mash American-style whiskey. The distillery is a 3-time “Icons of Whisky” winner and 5-time recipient of the “Best American Blended” title at the World Whiskies Awards presented by Whisky Magazine. The Breckenridge Distillery has also been named winner of “Colorado Distillery of the Year” four times by the New York International Spirits Competition.
In addition, the Breckenridge Bourbon has received several accolades. It’s one of the most highly awarded craft bourbons in the country. And, most recently, their Breckenridge Gin was named “2021 World’s Best Compound Gin” at the World Gin Awards by Gin Magazine.
Despite these impressive awards that make the distillery even more attractive for visitors worldwide, the Breckenridge Distillery also offers an immersive guest experience. For instance, you can dine at their award-winning restaurant, enjoy show-stopping cocktails, learn about their highly awarded spirits with an in-depth tasting and get an inside look at their active production facility.
“Proper blending is an art, not easily learned, and something I’m sincerely passionate about. 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,” explains Nolt.
“Smell and taste are just as powerful as vision, and we think focus helps you to intensify these subtle pleasures. This collaboration is simply about evoking those emotions through street art and the artistry of whiskey.”
Guests also have the opportunity to blend their own whiskey as you learn the inner workings of whiskey production.
For each bottle sold, Breckenridge Distillery will donate $5 to the ArtPark campaign in the RiNo Arts District to help fund the Rocky Mountain Region’s most innovative interdisciplinary arts center.
“Distilleries are alluring places to tell stories and capture excitement in photos or posts—and people tend to gravitate toward the action that shows best, such as mashing, playing with grains or working with barrels,” adds Nolt.
“We’re just as enthusiastic about these activities of daily life as anyone, but what’s really sexy is how subtle flavors can be put together to make something that really moves you from nose through flavor, mouth feel, finish and everything in between.”
The Tasting Notes
Are you a whiskey connoisseur? Here is everything you need to know right from the distillery itself.
Breckenridge XO Cognac Cask Finish Whiskey | 48% ABV | 96 PROOF
XO Cognac is produced with well-known grapes from regions in France. A fine Cognac is 15% petite champagne and 85% Grande champagne blended typically in batches of 300 barrels and aged anywhere from 10-37 years in age (average of 25 years).
Breckenridge Distillery imported those barrels and aged their Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey in those Cognac barrels for just over two years to date. This cask finish whiskey will be bottled and released as Breckenridge XO Cognac Cask Finish Whiskey for Series 2 of the Collectors Art Series.
Nose: Inviting aromatics of grape with a hint of clove and cinnamon.
Palette: Smooth caramel and dates embody the tongue with a hint of apple butter, cacao and allspice as it travels all around your palate. Long finish of cinnamon, baking spice and resounding dry oak.
Distribution: Sold exclusively at the Breckenridge Distillery and Main Street Tasting Room
Breckenridge Distillery: 1925 Airport Road, Breckenridge
Main Street Tasting Room: 137 S. Main Street, Breckenridge
Artwork: Located in the RiNo Arts District at 3560 Chestnut Place, Denver
*The mural is located in the alley behind Number Thirty Eight
Recipe by Billie Keithley, Liquid Chef at Breckenridge Distillery
2 oz. Breckenridge XO Cognac Finished Whiskey
¼ oz. lemon juice
2 tsp. honey
3 peach slices (skin peeled)
4 mint leaves
- Muddle peach slices in a shaker or other vessel, add mint, honey, lemon juice, Breckenridge XO Cognac Finished Whiskey and ice.
- Shake and stain over ice.
- Garnish with mint bouquet, peach slice and edible flower.
- Add more honey or citrus to your taste.