Yellowstone 2017 Limited Edition Bourbon Review

Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a marriage of some of the finest hand-selected bourbon available, celebrates the return of Yellowstone to the family of Limestone Branch founders Steve and Paul Beam – and the many fine bourbons to come.

Yellowstone 2017 Limited Edition Bourbon Header


  • DISTILLER: Limestone Branch (and whiskey from undisclosed distillery – most likely Heaven Hill)
  • MASH BILL: 7 year = 75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malt; 12 year = 75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malt; 4 year* = 75% Local Heirloom White Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malt
  • AGE: NAS – but includes a blend of 4*, 7 and 12 year-old Kentucky straight bourbons
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 101 (50.5% ABV)
  • MSRP: $100.00

*The 4 year old bourbon comes from Limestone Branch’s own distillate versus sourced whiskey for the other bourbons in the blend.


NOSE: Charred Oak  |  Pecans  |  Rye  |  Cocoa

TASTE: Dark fruits  |  Leather  | Cinnamon  |  Oak

FINISH: The rich dark fruits and leather drop off pretty quickly leaving a finish consisting of mostly spice, oak and a hint of caramel. And sadly there was no back of the throat surge/burn.

SHARE WITH: New bourbon drinkers will not enjoy this anymore than they would a $20 bottle of whiskey. To really appreciate what this has to offer requires a more experience palate. Share with folks who have an opinion about their bourbon and also enjoy trying new things – even if it means getting outside of their comfort zone.

WORTH THE PRICE: On its own it’s not with the $100 price. However, we have to take market context into consideration and realize that $100 is the new normal for anything that is considered a limited release. Taking that into consideration I think the price is fair. The juice isn’t the best I’ve had this year but it’s a solid pour and shows some great improvement over its 2015 Release expression.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: For me I’d rather try it at a bar before investing (due to my preferred flavor profile) but I can see that for many this would be a bottle purchase without sampling in advance. My advice though is that anything over $80 should always be sampled before purchase.

OVERALL: If you read my review of the 2015 release you’ll know I wasn’t a big fan back then. I’m happy to report that this release is much improved over that original release. To be fair, I think the 2015 Release’s nose was a bit better but the 2017 Release is improved on the palate and light years ahead on the finish. I would love to have had more of the rich flavors (e.g., dark fruits and leather) carry through the finish but at least it feels balanced. The final notes are of slightly bitter oak, never a favorite of mine, but that’s a personal preference that I’ve learned not everyone agrees with when drinking bourbon. For many this is going to be a delightful pour. If your preference leans towards spicier oak finishes this one should be on your must try list.


NOSE: Brandied Fruit Cake (the kind you want)  |  Toasted Oak

TASTE: Cooked sugar  |  Tobacco Leaf  |  Butterscotch if you’re very patient

FINISH: Exceptionally smooth. The “burn” only hits the tip of the tongue.

SHARE WITH: Friends who enjoy and appreciate limited edition whiskeys.

WORTH THE PRICE: At this MSRP, Yellowstone is competing with whiskeys like BTAC, Birthday Bourbon, and Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition. This is good, but I can’t say it is $99.99 good. There’s too much missing from the back of the palate.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar. I have several reasons for my rating, but first and foremost it is the price point. For $100 a bottle this should be stupendous. That wasn’t my experience.

OVERALL: In the glass, this was a beautiful, dark amber that was inviting and begged to be sipped. That made it difficult to wait the usual ten or so minutes before I could start my tasting. Swirling it around left no ring whatsoever, and as such, produced no legs.

The nose literally had my mouth watering. It was almost chewy. I was excited and couldn’t wait to get into it.

The mouthfeel is light and airy. I was expecting something more especially after that lovely nose. There is only front and middle on the palate. There is nothing on the back, and I couldn’t even force something by shooting it. To me, this was a bit disappointing.

Some folks will enjoy this Bourbon because it is an easy sipper at 101°. But, if you’re expecting more from a C-note you are going to wonder what justifies the price.


Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a marriage of some of the finest hand-selected bourbon available, celebrates the return of Yellowstone to the family of Limestone Branch founders Steve and Paul Beam – and the many fine bourbons to come.

Limestone Branch Distillery introduces the 2017 version of Yellowstone® Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon, finished in charred wine casks, set to hit the market in October. This year’s limited edition combines hand-selected, seven and 12-year Kentucky Straight bourbons, with a special addition of Limestone Branch Distillery’s first available, 4-year Kentucky Straight bourbon. The bourbon is then rested in once-filled, double seasoned barrels, which are toasted and then lightly charred.

“We are beyond proud to be using some of our own distillate in this year’s Yellowstone Limited Edition,” says Steve Beam, president and distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery. “This is a momentous release for our family and it is meticulously handmade, grain to glass, right here at our distillery.”

Bottled at 101 proof and available in 750ml bottles signed by Steve Beam and nestled in commemorative tubes, Yellowstone Limited Edition offers an earthy flavor, dark and rich, with a nose of toasted oak, caramel and butterscotch at the front of the palette, giving way to rich leather and dark summer fruit on the finish. Approximately 7,000-8,000 bottles of this bourbon are being produced this fall at Limestone Branch Distillery, and the suggested retail price is $99.99.

“By finishing the bourbon in charred wine casks, we allowed the juice to intensify and evolve, creating a wonderful result,” says Beam. “While last year’s edition was more about subtle nuances, this year’s edition we focused on intense flavors and a richer final product.”

Disclaimer: Limestone Branch provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.