Established in 1872, the same year as its namesake National Park, the Yellowstone Bourbon brand can trace its roots back to two of the most prestigious distilling families in the US – the Beams and the Dants. First produced by J. Bernard Dant at his ‘Cold Springs’ Distillery for Louisville whiskey broker Taylor and Williams, Dant eventually purchased the brokerage and merged it with his distillery, creating the Yellowstone Distillery. The Limestone Branch Distillery was founded in 2010, by brothers Stephen and Paul Beam. Tracing their heritage directly through seven generations of Beam distillers beginning with the Jacob ‘Jim’ on their father’s side, and also through the Dants on their mother’s side, distilling was in their blood and so breaking ground just a stone’s throw away from where their ancestors had distilled generations ago was a historic moment. With their first spirits run in 2011, Limestone Branch started by selling moonshine whilst their bourbon stocks aged and in 2012 were one of the founding members of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail. In 2015 they became partners with Luxco and under this deal the Yellowstone brand returned to the family after 70 years. At this time Limestone Branch also started using an heirloom white corn in their distillation and were even able to swab a yeast jug that was owned by Minor Case and Guy Beam to get the original yeast strain that they had used to produce Yellowstone bourbon.
The bouquet opens sweet and faintly earthy with notes of warm toasted oak, thick vanilla pod, and caramelized nuts fading to notes of baking spices, a touch of ground cloves and faint black cherries all rounded-out by a touch of charred oak. The palate is viscous and sweet toffee, floral vanilla, and a touch of sweetened dark chocolate before a prickling white pepper spice develops on the mid-palate, eventually fading to earthy caramelized nuts, almost burnt caramel, and finally to charred oak and unsweetened cacao powder. The finish has a kick of residual black pepper spice from the palate giving notes of unsweetened cacao powder, earthy nutty notes again, a touch of sweetness, and an aftertaste of charred toasted oak with faintly bitter spice lingering throughout.