Yellowstone Limited Edition 2018 Bourbon
Bottled by Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon, KY
Bourbon’s aged 4yr, 7yr & 12yrs | Bottled at 101 proof (50.5% ABV)

I began the search for the next club selection in the beginning of January and wasn’t satisfied with the options I was finding. Then one day I met Steve Beam of the Limestone Branch Distillery. They had just released their 2018 Limited Edition in California and he was out showing it around. I didn’t know much about the brand or the story. I had seen it online on blogs and in forums where the occasional Limited Edition would pop up for auction. After hearing the story of the brand and tasting the whiskey I knew it was a perfect selection for the club. It just so happened I had an upcoming Kentucky trip planned for mid-February, so I went to their facility to see what they are up to. After visiting the distillery, I became even more infatuated with the whiskey. One of the things that stood out was the fact that they seemed to purposely eschew the use of the catch phrase ‘craft whiskey’, despite, for all intensive purposes being a craft distillery in size and output. 

When we arrived, it didn’t take but a minute before Steve loaded us up with cocktails before we set off on our tour of the place. We spent the first 30 minutes just talking history. This is where it got the most interesting… this guy is a direct decedent of the Beam family – the same Beam family that gave us the Jim Beam distillery. He’s also a direct descendent of the Dant family.

The distillery dates back to the late 1870s when it was called the Cold Spring distillery owned by JB Dant. The brand Yellowstone was created after a traveling salesman visited the national park and fell in love with it. By the 1970s it was the best selling brand in Kentucky. It changed hands a few times in the 1990s before falling into the hands of Luxco Company.  

They ferment in small 600 gallon tanks that go into a 150 gallon still which yields about a barrel of whiskey a day. They use an heirloom white corn in the ratio of 60/28/12 corn/wheat/malted barley. While they have been producing their own whiskey for the last five years, the Limited Edition sees a blend of older whiskies in it as well. After blending, the bourbons are refilled into a re-charred American oak barrel that had previously finished the 2017 LE, which had previously been re-charred and used to finish the 2016 LE before that.

The whiskey pours a beautiful mahogany color into the glass. The nose is initially sweet with a sweet burnt marshmallow and brown sugar aroma to it that then hints at deep brooding flavors of oak and spic with compliment of smoke. The palate is surprisingly smooth for the proof. The fresh re-char on the barrel can be detected but not in any over done way. If this whiskey were a wine, it would be a structured bold California cabernet. That’s part of its appeal; it’s well made and uncomplicatedly delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers!

Joshua Thinnes
Whiskey Evangelist, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

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