You know Jim Beam, but do you know the much smaller distillery started by two members of the Beam family? Limestone Branch Distillers Inc. produces Yellowstone Select Bourbon, a blend of Kentucky straight bourbons that has begun taking home gold medals at spirits competitions.
In this Yellowstone Bourbon review, we’ll cover the history, taste, price, and value of a bottle of this whiskey. We’ll even cover some of the charity work behind every bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon.
Yellowstone Bourbon History
While Limestone Distillers wasn’t founded until 2010, the Yellowstone brand dates back to 1872, the same year in which Yellowstone was declared a national park. It began with the Beam and Dant families. Dant produced Yellowstone Bourbon at his distillery, and after some success, he purchased the M.C. Beam Distillery.
Eventually the demand for bourbon subsided and the brand and distillery was sold to United Distillers (now Diageo). It was then sold again to Luxco, where the Yellowstone brand has been ever since. That it, until recently.
Brothers Stephen and Paul Beam founded Limestone Branch Distillers in 2010. Stephen and Paul are direct descendants of both the Beam and Dant families, so in 2015 they partnered with Luxco to bring the Yellowstone brand back to its former glory.
Yellowstone Select Bourbon Overview
Yellowstone Select Bourbon is a blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbons that have been aged 4 and 7 years. You’ll notice that on the bottle there is no age statement (NAS). That’s because you are not required to have an age statement as long as it’s aged no less than 4 years. Yellowstone Bourbon is bottles at 93 proof, or 46.5% ABV.
Mash Bill & Distilling
Limestone Branch uses the same mash bill and distilling method for all their Yellowstone whiskeys, a recipe directly from their grandfather’s notes. It calls for 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. The grains then go into a three stage cooking process. First, the corn is cooked at 200+ degrees, then they lower the temperature and add the rye. Finally, they lower the temperature again to cook the malted barley.
Once the mash cools, they pitch the yeast – the same yeast that their great grandfather and grandfather used. An old yeast jug used by their elders sat at a whiskey museum in Bardstown, Kentucky. They used the DNA from that jug to recreate the old yeast used in the family recipe over a century ago.
Ultimately, Stephen and Paul barrel the whiskey as close to 100 proof as possible. After aging, the bourbon is cut to 93 proof and bottled, now ready to be shipped off.
Yellowstone Select Bourbon Tasting Notes
We’ve covered most of the basics, so lets get to the real reason you are here. Is Yellowstone Bourbon good? What does it taste like? Well, let’s pour up a glass and find out.
Nose: Strong aromas of leather and cherry. Floral notes, vanilla, and light spice sit in the background.
Taste: Fairly light, but buttery mouthfeel. Charred oak, vanilla, and toffee. Rye spice and some nutty characteristics round it out. Very sweet.
Finish: There’s some black pepper and leather, but it’s a light finish with medium length.
Yellowstone Bourbon Taste Summary
Yellowstone Bourbon has a very light taste, but it’s not thin. There’s a thickness and richness that gives it a buttery and smooth feel. While it’s very sweet, due to the lightness and high corn mash bill, the predominant flavors are leather, spices, and nuts.
The rye seems to have a lot of power when it comes to the flavor, along with the charred oak, but the corn and barley allow for it to be sweet and mellow. I don’t typically like very sweet bourbons, but this is a good whiskey.
Yellowstone Bourbon Price
Personally, I’m a fan of what’s inside a bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon, but at what cost? Prices may vary by individual store and location. As a note, I use multiple locations of Total Wine from across the country to determine an average price of a bottle.
- Yellowstone Select Bourbon 750ml: $32-40
In most states, a bottle of Yellowstone Select Bourbon can be found in the mid $30 range. I saw some as low as $28 (TX) and some as high as $48 (NY/NJ). However, it may be a couple dollars more if you elect to go to a smaller, local store.
Yellowstone Bourbon Value
In this section we can compare the taste to the price to determine whether or not you should buy a bottle, or how often you should. I purchased my bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon for $36.99, and I feel like it’s a very fair price point. Most of the bottles I buy are in the $30-40 price range, and this is a good bourbon, probably one of the better ones I’ve had.
How often you buy a bottle of Yellowstone Select Bourbon depends on what price range you like to buy your whiskey in. Regardless, $30-40 isn’t expensive for a quality sipping bourbon, so I recommend you buy a bottle to try it for yourself.
Yellowstone Bourbon and Yellowstone National Park
For the calendar year of 2022, Limestone Branch Distillers has pledged to donate $1.50 to the National Parks Conservation Association for every bottle of Yellowstone they sell, up to $30,000. I recently did a review of Noble Oak Bourbon, who donates $1 for every bottle to reforestation efforts.
While both companies are making a positive impact, the difference is the whiskey. Yellowstone Bourbon set out to make good whiskey and donate money because their whiskey brand was originally created to honor the national park. Noble Oak, on the other hand, may really care about reforestation, but it the whiskey just isn’t as good.
Yellowstone Bourbon Summary
Yellowstone Bourbon is produced by Limestone Branch Distillers Inc. which is owned by Stephen and Paul Beam. That name may sound familiar as they are a part of the Beam family that founded Jim Beam. They are also direct descendants of the Dant family, the original producers of Yellowstone whiskey.
Stephen and Paul were able to bring the Beam and Dant family lineage back to the business of producing Yellowstone Bourbon, and they’ve done a great job. Yellowstone Select Bourbon is a very good Kentucky straight bourbon that took the gold medal at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Notes of leather, rye, and, nuts are mellow and smooth. There’s a lightness to the whiskey that creates a sweetness throughout the sip. It also has a thickness and richness to it that makes this a great option in the $30-40 price range. I recommend you buy a bottle for yourself!
Below are frequently asked questions regarding Yellowstone Bourbon. Many of these are answered in the article above.
Who is Yellowstone Bourbon Made by?
Stephen and Paul Beam, the owners or Limestone Branch Distilling Inc., produce Yellowstone Select Bourbon.
Where to Buy Yellowstone Bourbon?
You can find Yellowstone Bourbon at most liquor stores. If your local store doesn’t have one, check out Total Wine, ReserveBar, or Drizzly. ReserveBar and Drizzly should be able to ship it to your door, or Total Wine will most definitely have a couple bottles in stock.
Yellowstone Bourbon and the Yellowstone TV Show…?
The original Yellowstone Bourbon brand dates back to 1872. So, Yellowstone Bourbon was not created for the hit TV show nor because of the show. While John Dutton drinks a lot of whiskey, the bottles are plastered with fake labels.
If you’re interested in drinks made in response to TV shows, check out this article on Puppers Beer – the drink of choice on the Canadian sit-com Letterkenny.