In a nutshell: Produced by distillers with a proud heritage in the whiskey game, Yellowstone Select is named after the famous National Park and $1 from each bottle goes to a charity that helps conserve it. That adds a feel-good factor to the purchase before you even begin to enjoy the smoky, peppery and caramel-laced goodness from the Limestone Branch distillery.
The brand: There are some people for whom whiskey is in the blood, people like the brothers Beam, Stephen and Paul. The two siblings, based in Lebanon, Kentucky, come from real bourbon distilling royalty.
Those with even a passing interest in bourbon will know the work of Stephen and Paul’s great-great uncle Jacob Beam, the man who founded the distillery that eventually became the ubiquitous Jim Beam. Starting with Jacob in 1795, the Beam family distilled in Kentucky for generations. In 1934 Stephen and Paul’s grandfather, Guy Beam, became the fifth generation to be brought into the family business.
October 2010 saw Stephen and Paul Beam elect to follow in their ancestors’ footsteps. The brothers founded Limestone Branch Distilling Inc. in Lebanon, KY. The placing of the operation was crucial, as the distillery is located near to local grain and limestone water sources and is close by to the sites of their forefathers’ distilleries.
The whiskey: The company produces a range of fine whiskies but we’ve got to single out the Yellowstone Select for special attention. The whiskey is made up of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley. Careful attention to detail goes into each step of the process, from the corn species selected for its lighter flavour to the three stages of temperature the cook undergoes. The brothers even use a yeast that can be traced back to Minor Case Beam, their great-grandfather – the strain was conjured up from a DNA sample taken from a yeast jug on display in a whiskey museum in Bardstown.
Yellowstone Select is a blend of four-year-old and seven-year-old bourbons. The name is inspired by the owner’s love of the USA’s first National Park and the distillery aims to incorporate the great outdoors into this bottle with peppery rye and smoked oak meeting ruby fruits on the nose. The palate is smooth and light, a shroud of caramel smoothing out bursts of rye, then soft spices carry the bourbon out for a warm and satisfying finish.