Review: Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
We’ve kept tabs on the annual Yellowstone Limited Edition releases from Kentucky’s Limestone Branch Distillery since 2016, but somehow, we never got around to reviewing its standard bourbon offering, Yellowstone Select. Well, that changes today. While past releases of Yellowstone Select were entirely sourced, this bourbon is now a blend of Limestone Branch’s own distillate and sourced Kentucky bourbon, but from which distillery (or distilleries) and at what proportions remains a mystery.
There isn’t any age information on the bottle, but owner and distiller Steve Beam tells us the in-house bourbon is four years old and the sourced is seven. While Yellowstone Select has been on the shelves for a few years now, the labeling was recently updated to a lighter, full-color rendition of the former packaging which borrows from the original Yellowstone bourbon label dating back to the late 1800s. It’s definitely an improvement over the old darker packaging, but it’s the juice inside the bottle that matters, so let’s drink!
On the nose, Yellowstone Select is full of classic bourbon notes, showing brown sugar and pralines with new shoe leather and a touch of apricot. It’s also peppery with a bit of youthful cream corn in the mix. On the palate, things are light but with a well-balanced heat and good depth of flavor. Like the nose, most of those flavors are fairly straightforward: caramel and brûlée sugar, orange peel and cinnamon, lumber and peanut brittle. The black pepper spice on the mid-palate cools quickly into a medium-length finish with notes of Nilla wafers and ripe tangerine.
There’s been plenty of cask strength, single barrel, and/or finished whiskey coming out of young distilleries of late. Operating since 2012, Limestone Branch is one of the newer distilleries out there, so its refreshing to see them buck that trend and concentrate on delivering a quality, classic bourbon.