Review: Yellowstone Limited Edition 2016

It’s the end of November which means we are about done with the limited Bourbon releases for the year, but here in Oklahoma some of them are still rolling in. One of the newer limited offerings comes from Luxco in the form of Yellowstone Limited Edition. While I definitely dug the Yellowstone Select I wasn’t a huge fan of last year’s Limited Edition.

This year they are changing it up and replacing a blend of two rye Bourbons and a wheater with something quite different. Here’s the description from Luxco:

This year’s limited edition combines two extra-aged rye mashed bourbons – a stately 12-year and a bold 7-year – hand-selected and finished for several months in new toasted wine barrels. The result is a small batch legendary bourbon with a truly unique complexity and character.

“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.”

When I first read that I thought I was dealing with a wine-finished Bourbon here and I got grumpy. Luckily I super know how to read and realized that they were NEW wine barrels which means this is basically just at toasted oak finished expression. I’ll allow it.

Let’s see how it is!

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.

Company: Luxco

Distillery: NDP

Mash Bill: Blend of 12-year rye Bourbon, 7-year rye Bourbon finished in new toasted wine barrels

ABV: 50.5% (101 proof)

Age: 7 years

Released: October 2016

Price: $100 MSRP

Color: Deep honey 

Nose: Rye and fresh oak are the leading notes here. There is some nice fruity things (prunes, maybe?) and black pepper in the background but the grain and oak really steal the show not leaving much room for anything else.

Taste: The oak is right up front and those toasted barrels are really shining. The rye is very present, and if I didn’t know better I might peg this as a younger straight rye. I’m guessing there is way more 7-year in the mix here than the 12 as even 7 seems to be cutting it close given the profile. Luckily young rye can be really tasty so I’m not super mad about it. The toasted oak vibe is just a little overpowering and other than some faint cinnamon, nutmeg, and raspberry things I’m not getting a lot of complexity out of it.

Finish: Again a younger rye vibe is big here as the whiskey rides into the sunset. The fresh, toasted oak lingers resulting in a very dry and…well, oaky finishing with just a hint of red fruit and vanilla.

Overall: Honestly I like the direction this distillery is going. They are trying fun things that aren’t too crazy (see Jefferson’s) and mixing it up a bit. While this one didn’t quite hit the spot for me as it seemed like a young rye with a slightly harsh toasted barrel finish, I see what they are going for and I could see how some people may really dig it. For me the toasty oak was just too much and the whiskey didn’t have quite enough character to stand up to it.

Rating: 3/5

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