Barrel finishing is nothing new. If you’re not familiar with the term, it means that an aged whiskey has been dumped out of the original barrel and placed in another for a shorter time. That barrel could be virgin wood, charred wood, toasted wood, or could have previously held something else (wine, spirits, beer, coffee, sauces, etc.). The goal is for the aged spirit to take on the qualities of the finishing barrel.
Barrel finishing has its naysayers. Purists may suggest the only reason to finish a whiskey is that there’s something wrong with it, and it is an attempt to salvage that flawed whiskey. While that does happen, that’s not what most of the finished whiskeys include.
In my opinion, finishing is an art form, much like blending. There are true artists, and there are the clueless. It is easy to screw things up; the whiskey may spend too much time in the finishing barrel(s). Another issue is the quality of what was previously held in the barrel. If it weren’t good, that would come through to the whiskey in the finishing process.
Today’s review is the 2022 Yellowstone Limited Edition Bourbon. Limestone Branch Distillery, under the guidance of Stephen Beam (yes, those Beams), has been producing a Limited Edition since 2015. Each annual release is something different. The 2022 is a blend of 7-year, 15-year, and 16-year Bourbons.
The 7-year Bourbons were finished in Marsala Superiore casks. Marsala is a sweet Italian fortified dessert wine aged at least two years. It is commonly used in cooking due to its dried fruit and citrusy flavors. Once the finishing process was complete, that whiskey was blended with the older ones.
The result is 10,000 three-bottle cases of 101° Bourbon that will be available around the United States in September. The suggested retail price is $99.99, which has held steady for several years.
The big question, of course, is, Is this Bourbon any good? And the answer to that can only be found if we #DrinkCurious. I must thank Limestone Branch for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.
Appearance: Poured neat, this Bourbon presented as a deep, dark, orange amber. A medium rim yielded thick, slow legs on the wall of my Glencairn glass.
Nose: The Marsala influence was evident. Sweet, fruity notes of apricot, orange, and raisin combined with Bit O’Honey candy. Surprisingly, there was no oak. Inhaling that through my lips led me to taste lemon and orange zests.
Palate: An oil slick coated my mouth. Brown sugar, date, and apricot caressed the front of my palate, while vanilla, almond, and tobacco created the middle. The back featured leather, English toffee, and golden raisin. Again, no oak notes.
Finish: Medium-to-long in duration, the finish consisted of leather, tobacco, nutmeg, and, finally, dry oak.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I’ve been impressed with many of the previous Yellowstone Limited Editions, but 2022 is my favorite. The Beam boys did something magical here. You’d be foolish to pass this one up; it is easily worth a c-note, and I’m left wishing I had a full-sized Bottle. 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.
Picked up a bottle today. Can’t wait to try it.ReplyDelete