One of the hottest whiskey categories in the United States is American Single Malt. It has been around for several years but has not been legally defined. That’s coming very soon, as the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC), representing almost 100 distilleries, has submitted its proposal to the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for consideration.
I’ve been on an American Single Malt kick for the last few years. There are some stunning examples on the market, and if you think this is just a me-too copy of Scotch or Irish whiskeys, you’d be wrong. American Single Malts are distant cousins to those styles. The main similarity, naturally, is the use of malted barley.
Limestone Branch Distillery out of Lebanon, Kentucky, has just introduced its first American Single Malt to the marketplace under its Yellowstone brand. One of the cool things Yellowstone does is donate a portion of its proceeds to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).
“I’m proud of the success Yellowstone Select Bourbon has enjoyed since 2015 when I introduced my take on my family’s historic brand, and I’m proud to once again continue my family’s tradition of innovation with the launch of Yellowstone American Single Malt. This is a brand-new category of American whiskey, and our offering is sure to become a favorite among Yellowstone Bourbon fans and fans of American Single Malt Whiskeys alike.” – Stephen Beam, Master Distiller
Yellowstone’s American Single Malt is distilled from 100% two- and six-row malted barleys from MGP. The distillate is then aged four years in new, charred 53-gallon oak barrels. It is bottled at 54% ABV (108°) and should start showing up on store shelves this month. Expect to pay about $54.99 for a 750ml package.
Unlike those European cousins, my experience is that four years is plenty of time for an American Single Malt to mature fully; they age faster than either Bourbon or American Rye.
When this whiskey showed up, I did an unboxing video, which you can view below:
Before cracking this bottle open, I must thank Limestone Branch for providing me with a sample of its inaugural American Single Malt Whiskey in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now, let’s #DrinkCurious.
Appearance: I sipped this single malt neat in my Glencairn glass. It presented as bronze with a medium-thin rim. Slow, tiny tears were released.
Nose: The first thing I smelled was Honey Nut Cheerios. A floral bouquet was evident, along with lighter tannins. When I inhaled through my lips, I encountered honeysuckle.
Palate: The mouthfeel was medium weighted and a bit oily. A fruity front consisted of pear, apple, and raw honey. Midway through, I tasted cherry, raspberry, and apricot. The back featured clove, nutmeg, and oak.
Finish: Substantially dry oak, along with clove, nutmeg, apricot, and raspberry, stuck around for a long-lasting finish.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Yellowstone’s American Single Malt is a stand-out and different from many other American Single Malts I’ve sampled. The fruity notes dominated, much like a Speyside Scotch, but it had a muted maltiness. It was proofed perfectly. I found myself returning to it over the next few days. At $54.99, this is almost a steal, and I’m thrilled to have this in my Whiskey Library. Yellowstone has set the bar high regarding this year’s crop of American Single Malts, and I have no qualms about crowning it with my 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 do so responsibly.