Yellowstone Bourbon review -- like most American whiskey, this brand has a long history. But in the mix are a number of different owners and distilleries. Notable about Yellowstone is the revitalization of the brand, which began in 2010 when two Beam heirs founded a new distillery: Limestone Branch Distillery.
Of course, Paul and Steve Beam didn’t have prior involvement in the distilling business. They built the Limestone Branch to be artisanal and use pre-Prohibition recipes and techniques. Their grandfather, Guy, and father, Jimmy, both worked in distilleries. Guy ended up in Canada during prohibition, but he worked for the original Yellowstone label before he headed north.
Meanwhile, Luxco is the new owner of Yellowstone Bourbon, in partnership with Limestone Branch in Lebanon, Kentucky. The small operation bottles the bourbon, with Luxco’s brand. Of course, Limestone Branch sources and blends four- and seven-year bourbons to make Yellowstone. Yellowstone Limited Edition was the original whiskey release from the distillery. The original release is a high-end blend from twelve and nine-year bourbons.
Limestone Branch exemplifies the difficulty in starting a new whiskey-producing distillery. There’s no way to speed up barrel aging. While the 4 Year whiskey comes from Limestone’s still, the 7 and 12 Year whiskey would come from Heaven Hill (most likely).
So, presumably, as Limestone develops a longer history, their own aged whiskey will replace those sourced elsewhere. However, the brand has a few things going for it right now. For example, seventh-generation distillers run Limestone Branch. Their great-uncle was the original distiller for the Yellowstone brand. There’s a lot of family pride concerns in the bourbon world.
Secondly, they’ve partnered with Luxco, who has a special interest in returning old bourbon brands to their former glory. Luxco purchased Ezra Brooks and Rebel Yell with the intent of rehabilitating them. Both brands are now rising from the bottom shelves where they’ve long resided.
Presently, new packaging and a return to the original recipe are part of the process. Yellowstone Select’s striking gold & black lettering remains unchanged. But after close to 150 years, the label got a facelift from previous iterations. The more expensive Limited Edition sports a black label to differentiate it from the younger Select.
Paul and Steve’s hand in blending the releases so far deserves a lot of credit. They know what they’re doing in building a bourbon. There's a lot to look forward to from the distillery in the future. Once the brothers begin blending their own whiskey, they'll produce small batches that do credit to their family and to bourbon. Time spent opening up in a premium decanter will help reveal the complexity of their blends.
These bourbon review accounts on Instagram found a lot they enjoyed with the Select. Give these accounts a follow to keep up on whiskey worth trying!
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @boca_bartender | Image credit: Boca_Bartender
“I love spirits with a history. Yellowstone is over 100 years old...and back in the original family's hands. A spectacular spicy start and a cherry finish.” -
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @properbarkeep | Image credit: ProperBarKeep
“tbh at first pour, I felt a little underwhelmed, but once this bottle opened up it was incredible!” -
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @chasingbourbon | Image credit: ChasingBourbon
“Notes of vanilla, brown sugar, banana and licorice hit my nose. The palate is then hit with a nut-forward peanut brittle bomb and hints of caramel, vanilla, citrus, and spice. Its nutty and sweet profile is good, but lacks complexity.” -
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @whisquor | Image credit: Whisquor
“If you dig the green, dill profile found in some rye whiskeys, you may prefer the Yellowstone Select over its older sibling.” -
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @the_brothers_bourbon | Image credit: TheBrothersBourbon
“This one is a little hot, cherry and oak are in there. They took the barrels and put a heavy char on them prior to resting the whiskey.” -
Yellowstone Bourbon Review by @truecraftbbq | Image credit: TrueCraftBBQ
“Oak forward with a bit of rye spice and has a silky finish similar to that of Whistle Pig...familiar oakiness. Good daily driver.” -
Basically, Yellowstone Select is a good reason to keep trying the same whiskey from year to year. With proper glassware (and a few different bottles) you can really get to know a distillery and its whiskey. Blending gives a product some consistency. But in a young distillery, so much evolution happens over time.
Although it carries a higher price tag than Select, Yellowstone Limited Edition doesn’t disappoint. It’s scarce on the shelves. Yearly limited-edition releases take place in the summer. So, hopefully, Yellowstone Select may also develop into something exciting.
Finally, whiskey veteran, is there a whiskey brand you have a long history with? In fact, how many of your favorite whiskeys have changed over the years? In case you don't mind, the less experienced drinkers in our community would love to hear your tales in the comments below.