By April Manning
Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon has been crafted to celebrate the brand’s return to the Limestone Branch Distillery’s family legacy. The founders of Limestone Brach are Steve and Paul Beam, and yes they are part of the famed Jim Beam’s extended family on their father’s side. On their mother’s side of the family tree, Steve and Paul are descendants of Joseph Washington Dant, who is more popularly known as J.W. Dant. It’s a family tree full of whiskey heritage.
Steve and Paul’s great-grandfather began producing Yellowstone in 1910 until the dreaded Prohibition interrupted their family’s story. Now the fifth generation of family distillers is proud to go back to that unfinished chapter and bring back Yellowstone after a 105 year wait.
Limestone Branch Distillery was started in 2010 in Lebanon, Kentucky, where local grain and that famous Kentucky limestone water are readily available. Lebanon was also chosen as the perfect site due to its proximity to the location of the family’s past distilleries in stubbornly Catholic, famously wet Marion County, Kentucky. Luxo, the bottling company behind Rebel Yell, bought a 50% stake in Limestone Branch and was a major partner in launching Yellowstone through them.
Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon is 12-year rye (i.e. normal corn, rye, malt mix) mashbill, 7-year rye mashbill, and 7-year wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey blended together then bottled at 105 proof. According to Limestone Branch in order to enjoy their whiskey you need to admire, then drink. And this bourbon is indeed a beautiful deep, rich red color to be appreciated. As beautiful as it is to look at, there are still some shortcomings.
It reveals the higher proof to the nose (and watering eyes), as it is a bit astringent. However, it does not drink like 105 proof bourbon. Yellowstone is quite subtle leaving one feeling as if there are some flavors missing, and the flavors that do come out are not the usual suspects expected in bourbon. The initial palate provides a hint of oak with a fume-like almost plastic sensation. This is where it seems to be missing something. You are waiting for the caramel or the vanilla or the citrus but it never arrives. The finish is where some cinnamon spice comes out saving the experience.
Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon will be appreciated by the novice bourbon drinker who wants to experience the higher proof but not the bold, full flavor provided by other bourbons. I am not a novice, so I prefer my bourbon to taste, well, like bourbon. This Yellowstone is too far into the dry and tannic, and outside the flavor profile I look for.
A whopping $105.