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.

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.

Yellowstone Select Bourbon Review

Photo courtesy of Limestone Branch Distillery.

Photo courtesy of Limestone Branch Distillery.

The autumn of 2015 saw the release of a limited one-off bourbon from Limestone Branch Distillery (LBD) and Luxco.  LBD’s Steve Beam took aged stock Luxco-owned (and sourced) and blended a great-tasting bourbon.  Fast forward a few months to 2016, and the first permanent expression to the Yellowstone line, Yellowstone Select, hit store shelves.

Coming in at 93 proof, Yellowstone Select is a blend of 4 and 7-year-old sourced bourbon.  This is much younger stock than the 7 and 12-year-old stocks that made up the Yellowstone 2015 Limited Edition release.  That’s understandable, as Luxco probably owns much more younger whiskey than they do older whiskey.

The nose here is youngish, with a sweet fresh corn note standing first in line.  Official tasting/nosing notes mention leather and citrus and oak.  I don’t get any leather, especially for a bourbon this young.  However, there’s a citrus note here.  It’s the smell of a freshly cut ripe orange.  Oak is present, but it stays in the background.  While it still tastes a little young, Yellowstone Select does feature sweet ripe fruit alongside buttered corn, rye spice and a touch of vanilla.  Nice. A general spiciness creeps up towards the end of the palate.  The finish is sweet grain, rye spice, and a slightly bitter note.

Where I really enjoyed the 2015 Limited Edition of Yellowstone, I feel slightly disappointed with this new release.  I don’t know the proportions of the 4-year-old and 7-year-old stocks that make up this blend, but it smells and tastes like there’s a lot more of the younger whiskey here.  For a bourbon priced at $49.99, I expect a bit more complexity.  What’s in the bottle isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s just a little overpriced.

(Note: A review sample was provided by Luxco.)