If you nerd out on the history of American Whiskey, you see the names Beam and Dant all over the damn place. The history of Yellowstone is riddled of those names as well, and involves multiple relatives, sales, and more relatives. To save you from a bunch of me doing a shitty job of explaining all of it, I’ll give the super brief version and recommend you go read ‘Bourbon, Straight’ by Chuck Cowdery (you can get it here).
Minor Case Beam (Jim Beam’s cousin) sold his distillery to J.B. Dant in 1910. Dant ran the distillery next door and began using both to produce Yellowstone, a popular brand at the time, which he had created in 1872. Since then the brand has been been all over the place. It was bought and sold, got wrapped up in the Glenmore/Schenley merger, went to Heaven Hill, then straight to the David Sherman Company which is now Luxco.
Luxco recently bought Limestone Branch Distillery which is run by, you guessed it, a couple of Beams (Steve and Paul). Limestone will eventually be producing all of the Yellowstone there but given the age of the blends in this bottle, they didn’t make this, and Luxco won’t say who did. Thanks for that, Luxco, who really cares where the stuff they drink comes from anyways, right?
Anyways, only 6,000 bottles of the triumphant return of Yellowstone were released, and while I didn’t get one, we got a sample of it here at the Barrels and Mash headquarters, so let’s dive in!
Distillery: Who the crap knows (NDP)
Mash Bill: Blend of 12-year rye Bourbon, 7-year rye Bourbon, and 7-year wheated Bourbon
ABV: 52.5% (105 proof)
Age: 7 years
Price: $105 MSRP
Color: Pale amber
Nose: The aroma is somewhat thin with dried fruit, leather (musty), vanilla, and dry oak. There’s an odd thing going on that took me a freaking long time to place, but it’s sourdough bread. I know that sounds weird, but it’s for real. Sourdough bread.
Taste: This stuff starts off dry and hot. Cinnamon, dry oak, and leather-y flavors (I’ve never actually licked leather, but it tastes like leather smells) come in loud and clear up front. There are also some softer flavors like black tea and honey, but they are blown out by that blast of spicy dryness.
Finish: The finish is welcome after that sip. The red hot heat fades, but leaves the taste of cinnamon with hints of tea, mint, and dry oak. The thirst for water grows inside me.
Overall: The balance on this leaves much to be desired. I wouldn’t have guessed that this stuff even sat on a shelf NEXT to a Bourbon with wheat in it, so the fact that there is any wheat in this blend whatsoever blows my mind. It’s so damn hot and dry that I wonder how much of that 12-year is in here and would love to try a version of this with just the 7’s in the mix. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but I’m glad I didn’t spend 3-digits on it. Thanks @jwbarleycorn for saving me some monies!