By Debbie Shocair
Lebanon, Kentucky’s Limestone Branch Distillery has released a second Yellowstone Limited Edition. Like all of the Yellowstone whiskeys, this is conjunction with Luxco, who own a stake in Limestone Branch and also bottle Ezra Brooks and Rebel Yell.
Limestone Branch is the seat of Steve and Paul Beam, brothers who are seventh-generation distillers from the storied Beam clan. The Beams have taken two high-rye bourbons and worked a little magic into them. Using both a 12 and 7-year bourbon, they carefully combined them and then finished them for several months in new, toasted wine barrels. That is to say, they used toasted wine industry barrels that had not previously been used to age wine, making this a double oaked Bourbon. Releasing only about 7000 bottles in this limited edition, Limestone Branch bottled it at 101 proof, with each 750ml bottle signed by Steve Beam.
On the nose, I was surprised by the big, bright caramel notes, followed by touches of mint and oak. As I considered further, I noticed low notes of corn, coming together with the high notes to be something like warm caramel corn.
Breaking the whiskey with a ½ teaspoon of water brought the oak notes forward, but did not overpower the initial sweetness. The mouthfeel was fairly bold (it is 101 proof, after all), at the sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth,
The finish was lovely and long – bold toffee, followed by oak and butterscotch. Hints of nutmeg led to a slightly softer caramel that lingered beautifully.
Being a bourbon, you would of course expect it to be a sweeter whiskey, and it is every bit of that. It just tips the balance on being interesting, a whiskey you can both enjoy as well as talk about with your drinking companion(s). It’s one I recommend for any bourbon lover – that bottle you pull out to impress friends.
The special packaging makes it ideal for gift-giving. It retails at around $100