Limestone Branch Distillery

Yellowstone Limited Edition 2017 Bourbon Review

Photo courtesy of Limestone Branch Distillery

My last post of the year is a look at Yellowstone Limited Edition 2017, the third release of the annual series from Limestone Branch Distillery. I thought the first two limited edition expressions were pretty solid. This one is a blend of 7- and 12-year-old sourced bourbons and 4-year-old bourbon distilled at Limestone Branch Distillery. Yellowstone LE 2017 marks the first time the distillery has released their own distillate. The bourbon is then finished in charred wine barrels and bottled at 101 proof.

The nose is quite nice, with hints of dark fruits, toasted oak, corn pudding and caramel. On entry, the bourbon shows is richness with waves of rich, chewy caramel and baking spice. Following closely are bold splashes of dark fruit. Some oak tannins appear on the back palate, along with a touch of tobacco. The finish is long, sweet, and dry. Hints of black cherry and oak spice linger.

This may be my favorite of the three limited editions from Yellowstone. It is by far the richest, but I would argue that it is also the most complex. The development of flavors makes for an interesting glass of bourbon. My nitpicking in this case has less to do with the actual whiskey and more to do with the pricing, which sits at $100 a bottle. A little high if you ask me. Then again, only 7,000 to 8,000 bottles are being released, which is a tiny amount. And with today’s whiskey market, $100 is the new $50. So maybe it is priced where it needs to be. Either way, pricing aside, Yellowstone Limited Edition 2017 is a wonderfully rich and engaging bourbon that comes with a high recommendation. 8.5/10

Thanks to Limestone Branch Distillery for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Minor Case Rye Whiskey Review

New from Limestone Branch Distillery is Minor Case Rye, a sherry cask-finished straight rye whiskey.  Though this is the first rye whiskey release from the modern iteration of the distillery, rye isn’t new to distillery president and distiller Stephen Beam’s family.

“My grandfather, Minor Case Beam, made rye whiskey in his day, before prohibition, which was his specialty. This rye whiskey is inspired by him and a tribute to his distilling legacy,” said Beam.  

Readers of this blog know I’m not a fan of really young rye whiskies.  This 90 proof whiskey is two years old – young.  The fact that it is sourced whiskey is perfectly fine.  But what sets this apart is taking that young sourced whiskey and finishing it in sherry casks.  Needless to say I’m curious to try.

The nose is vibrant, spicy and fruity.  Hints of caramel, dried fruits, rye spice and herbs jump out of the glass.  Taste wise, we’re talking light brown sugar, dried fruits, rye spice and a touch of oak.  The sweet fruity notes from the sherry casks round out the sharp rye notes.  The finish is long with spiced caramel, nuts and mint.

I am pleasantly surprised.  Both the rye and sherry characteristics work really well with each other.  It’s not too sweet or too spicy.  Very nicely done!  Not that it affects the score, but what an absolutely beautiful bottle that features the original logo that Minor Case Beam used on his labels.  8/10

Thanks to Limestone Banch Distillery for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition Bourbon Review

This year’s limited edition of Yellowstone bourbon from Limestone Branch is a blend of 12-year and 7-year whiskies.  Both feature rye as the flavoring grain in their mashbill.  The blend was finished in new toasted wine barrels.  No, these aren’t used wine barrels.  They are brand new ones, so don’t expect any wine notes.  The 2016 release is bottled at 101 proof and retails for about $100.  It’s truly limited – only 7,000 bottles have been produced.  

“We used 28 new wine barrels with varying levels of toast – I was interested in how toasting versus charring would contribute to the bourbon,” says Steve Beam, president and distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery. “The result was a delightful nose that is full of vanilla, sweet tea and summer fruit with a hint of smoke.”

Let’s see how this year’s bottling tastes.  The nose features candied fruits, brown sugar, some baking spice and a touch of vanilla.  Taste-wise, we’re talking in initial sweet caramel blast, followed by waves of spice, chocolate covered cherries, and some smoky vanilla.  The long finish carries a little heat and some toffee chews.

This is an entirely new blend compared to last year’s, and it’s an improvement upon what was an already solid entry in the Yellowstone lineup.  Nicely done.  8.5/10

Thanks to Luxco and Limestone Branch Distillery for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.