Review of Yellowstone Bourbon Special Finishes Collection: Rum Cask


In 2011, Stephen Beam founded Limestone Branch Distillery and became its master distiller. He started crafting spirits in small batches, and as his Lebanon, Kentucky operation grew, he resurrected the Yellowstone brand and ran with it. Since then, Yellowstone has offered annual limited-edition Bourbons, an American Single Malt, and the Yellowstone Select product line.


If you’re looking at Stephen’s name and wondering if this is the same Beams responsible for Jim Beam, The answer is yes, Stephen is part of that Beam dynasty; he’s a seventh-generation distiller.


Yellowstone is close to Stephen’s heart, both his whiskey and the national park bearing that name. Stephen donates some of his sales to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to help upkeep our parks.


Last year, Limestone Branch debuted its Yellowstone Bourbon Special Finishes Collection. This inaugural release was dubbed Toasted. I reviewed that in November.


The second release, Yellowstone Rum Cask Finish, has just hit shelves. It carries the flagship mashbill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley and spent four years sleeping in new, charred oak barrels. Once the maturation cycle ended, the Bourbon was transferred to casks containing Cuban rum distilled from molasses.


“Rum has the sweetest notes of all the casks we’ve used for secondary finishing, and it was an ideal choice for the next adventure in our Special Finishes Collection. Rum is an exceptional compliment to Bourbon, and they come together to create subtle notes of sweetness and brown sugar, which are soaked up and stored within the staves and perfectly complement the vanilla, caramel, and rye flavors of Yellowstone. Our four-year Bourbon is a classic Kentucky Bourbon and makes for a fantastic base. This allows me to go in  many directions with the finishes while remaining true to our original profile.” – Stephen Beam


Yellowstone Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 50% ABV (100°) and available nationwide. A 750ml package has a suggested price of $49.99.


Before I get to the #DrinkCurious part, I must thank Limestone Branch for providing me with a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured this Bourbon into my Glencairn glass to sip it neat. It possessed a light amber color you rarely see in higher-proofed Bourbons. The thick rim it created on my glass wall shed thick, crooked tears.


Nose: When I brought the glass toward my face, I immediately recognized brown sugar, candied ginger, earth, and orange and lemon rinds. Drawing the aroma into my mouth provided molasses notes.


Palate: The Bourbon’s texture was thin and airy on the first sip. A second attempt turned the mouthfeel to thin and creamy. At the front, I tasted brown sugar, burnt marshmallow, and vanilla. The middle featured lemon peel, ginger, and toffee. Flavors of clove, tobacco, and old oak rounded the back.


Finish: The long-lasting finish included plenty of cloves, tobacco, burnt marshmallow, oak, ginger, molasses, and toffee. Give it a few minutes before moving on to your next sip.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I’ve had plenty of rum-finished whiskeys over the years, but Yellowstone’s isn’t your average rum-finished whiskey. There were some sweet notes, but the spiced ones stole the show. Then there was that thick molasses on the finish; it kept me coming back for more. At $69.99, this one is an easy Bottle rating. 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 to do so responsibly.