Limestone Branch Distillery has been slowly coming into its own. Brothers Stephen and Paul Beam are seventh-generation descendants of the renowned Jacob Beam. In 2010, the brothers decided to write their own story, and a year later, they broke ground on the distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky. In 2012, they fired up the still and got to business.
These Beams are known for producing whiskey brands Minor Case and Yellowstone. Those started with sourced whiskeys, but now its distillate is ready to rock and roll. It is always exciting to see (and taste) what happens when a distillery releases its own, but what’s even more fascinating is when something special happens.
Here’s where we get into a backstory, and if you’ve been reading my reviews for any time, you know that I take most of them with a large spoonful of salt. Especially when you discover your great grandpappy's recipe hidden behind a cabinet. That’s kinda-sorta but not precisely what’s happened with the Beams.
In this instance, their grandfather, Guy Beam, kept a notebook with recipes. That doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Stephen and Paul located a yeast jug belonging to their great-grandfather, Minor Case Beam. They took the DNA from that yeast and cloned it. That yeast compounded with the recipe is what the Beams describe as the original 1880s mashbill for Yellowstone Bourbon.
Limestone Branch has just released Yellowstone Family Recipe, a limited-edition annual release of this Bourbon. The mashbill is undisclosed, but it aged six years in new, charred oak. It is packaged at 100°, and there will be only 6000 bottles available in a slow rollout. The retail price is $69.99.
Wyoming and Montana get this allocation first about right now (April). If you’re left scratching your head why the Beams would choose Wyoming and Montana for a launch, that is to honor the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park. Shortly after that, the distillery in Lebanon and select Kentucky retailers will get the next rollout. A nationwide rollout will occur in August, with a second in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Thanks to Limestone Branch, I’ve had a preview sample of this Bourbon in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and see how the Beams did.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, Yellowstone Family Recipe presented as a deep, orange-amber. A medium-thick rim unleashed full, thick tears.
Nose: The first aroma to hit my olfactory sense was spiced nuts. A blast of caramel was next, followed by dense oak and vanilla cream. Tobacco and nougat were easily identifiable when I brought that air into my mouth.
Palate: There was what I could describe only as a “reverse Kentucky hug” that started boldly and fell off almost immediately, leaving an airy texture. On the front, I tasted lime, hazelnut, and vanilla. The middle offered nougat, almond, and sweet tobacco, while the back featured oak, clove, and black pepper.
Finish: The medium-to-long finish was spicy with dry oak, lime, clove, pepper, and almond.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I will give the Brothers Beam credit; Yellowstone Family Recipe is unusual in a good way. Something reminded me of Jim Beam Repeal Batch, and because of that, I poured myself a dram of that immediately afterward. There are some similarities, particularly in the mouthfeel and the nutty flavors, but nothing else. So, did I enjoy Yellowstone Family Recipe? Yes. Is it worth $69.99? Also, yes. I don’t know that I would play the secondary market game with it, but it has earned by Bottle rating for its stated price. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.