Yellow Rose Premium Collection #1 Bourbon Review

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By Debbie Shocair

Rating: B

Yellow Rose Premium #1 Bourbon

Yellow Rose Premium #1 Bourbon
(Credit: Yellow Rose)

In Yellow Rose Distilling’s Premium Collection #1 Bourbon, the first in a new series, the distillery and bottler is pursuing a well-trod path in adding craft and value to a product: get good stock and finish it in good casks. I may have spent the last decade or so soaking up the California sun, but my roots run deep in Texas, and I was eager to try this second expression from Yellow Rose.

The craft whiskey movement has become a kind of freedom badge in America, allowing large and small distillers alike to be creative, combining methods and flavoring agents that (hopefully) can improve upon what is already good whiskey. Houston Farris, of Yellow Rose Distilling, obviously takes this prerogative to heart, stating, “As a craft distiller, we have the freedom to tweak variables, from what types of malted barley we mash to the barrels we mature the whiskey in, even choosing to add another barrel type to finish the matured whiskey. It will be a lot of fun trying new ways to make a better product with each run.”

This Premium Collection #1 from YR takes their bourbon, already matured 5-6 years in standard 53 gallon barrels, then finishes it in used Port casks for a further 3 to 5 months. Bottled at 86 proof YR then  “slap on the Yellow Rose label, modeled after a true Texas belt buckle.”

The Bourbon
On the nose, this Premium Collection Bourbon first put forth light notes of vanilla, followed by unusual salty caramel aromas and hay. Very different, interesting, and enjoyable.

Breaking it with ½ teaspoon of water brought the caramel right to the front and strengthened the vanilla notes.

The mouthfeel began at the top of the tongue and then moved under it as well.

The relatively long finish was spicier than I expected from a port-finished bourbon, progressing to coffee, cinnamon, and licorice. But it wasn’t done. Dark caramel flavors then surfaced, along with toffee and whispers of smokiness. For those who enjoy a whiskey “bite”, this one was right on target without any harshness.

The Price
Yellow Rose products are currently available in 20 states and online as well. This Bourbon – Premium Collection #1 runs about $68 and is the sort of traditional sipping whiskey for sharing with friends, and also treating yourself. This Texas girl approves.

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4 comments

  1. Houston Farris is not a craft distiller, he is only imitating Troy Smith master distiller and creator of the Outlaw Bourbon. I guess it should be taken as a compliment for Troy. Houston has to enterprise on creations made by someone else.

    • Just curious what you know about Houston and why you think he isn’t a craft distiller? He is in the process of making bourbon, single malt and now rye at Yellow Rose. Seems pretty much like a craft distiller to me. It’s easy to call yourself a “master” but if you aren’t qualified it doesn’t much matter. Unfortunately in the world of whiskey, there are no credentials required to call yourself a master distiller. You run a still and create a product, are you then a master? What if the recipe came from the back of a book, how masterful are you then? Yellow Rose is now doing some cool stuff with their experimental collection. Over the next few years we will see what comes of it, but for now I bet the team over there has it under control.

    • I’m going to get this printed on a t-shirt.

    • Funny think about that…I always found the Outlaw Bourbon to be super salty. SUPER SALTY.

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