I’ve received some samples from the Kentucky-based Limestone Branch Distillery (LBD) who have brought their historical Yellowstone Select Bourbon and Minor Case Rye Whiskey to the UK.
First produced by Master Distiller, Steve Beam’s ancestors in 1872, Yellowstone was Kentucky’s biggest selling bourbon in the 1960s. The original family recipe was resurrected in 2010 by Steve Beam and his brother Paul Beam with the first barrel filled in 2015.
LBD is based in Lebanon, Kentucky, in the heart of Bourbon country and is a founding member of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail.
LBD’s intention is to craft the finest whiskey in small batches, honouring the long Beam family heritage. With a history of distilling on both sides of their family – Beam and Dant – the brothers are seventh-generation distillers.
In 2015, LBD partnered with Luxco to assist in delivering its fine whiskeys around the world.
The craft whiskeys are distilled utilising the same method Beam’s previous generations used, with the yeast dating back to 1850. The whiskeys are hand labelled and hand-bottled and the focus is on quality, with just a barrel per day produced.
In the UK there is a huge demand right now for authentic bourbon and rye whiskeys, from both the on-trade and also specialist whiskey retailers. We are delighted to be able to introduce our Yellowstone Select and Minor Case Whiskeys to the UK market.
Bourbon and Rye whiskeys offer an ideal entry to the category and the increasing popularity of classic American whiskey-based cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour and the Manhattan, are further fuelling demand.
– Steve Beam: President and Distiller, Limestone Branch Distillery
Yellowstone Select Bourbon has won the following awards:
SF 2018 GOLD,
SIP PLATINUM 2017
2017 BERLIN GOLD MEDAL
2017 SIP AWARDS SILVER CONSUMERS CHOICE AWARD
Minor Case 2-yr old straight rye whiskey has won the following awards:
SF 2018 GOLD
2017 GOLD SIP AWARD
2017 MASTER AT THE GLOBAL LUXURY MASTERS
2017 SILVER SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION
So, what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes – Yellowstone Select Bourbon (46.5%)
Named after the Yellowstone National Park, award-winning Yellowstone Select Bourbon is a small batch of four and seven-year aged straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey made with locally grown white corn, rye, malt and limestone water.
Nose: Red apples, tropical fruits, fudge, vanilla and honey. Over time there’s old polished wood & chocolate.
Palate: A lovely, rich, creamy palate with smooth vanilla fudge flavours. There’s a hint of some wood and those apples are there as well coupled with a tropical fruit sweetness.
Finish: Very smooth finish. The tropical fruit continues and is joined by some spicy pepper at the end. No fieriness at all!
Overall: This is an amazing Bourbon! Quite sublime in it’s sweetness and the, amazing and surprising, total lack of fieriness that seems to underly most Bourbons I have tasted in the past.
Tasting Notes – Minor Case Rye Whiskey (45%)
Minor Case is a two-year old straight rye whiskey distilled using 100% American heartland grains and finished in a sherry cask. A nod to its namesake, exceptional distiller, Minor Case Beam (Steve’s great grandfather), Minor Case today is an authentic reproduction of Minor Case’s original recipe.
Nose: Initially a big hit of glue and popcorny new make spirit. Again, there’s green apples and later caramel sweetness comes through.
Palate: Smooth, honeyed and vanilla with apples and tropical fruit.
Finish: Again, a smooth finish with the familiar tropical fruit that I’ve come to love! There’s a hint of pepper and the dram ends on a note of tanin dryness.
Overall: There’s not as much nose as the Yellowstone Select Bourbon but Minor Case Rye makes up with it with bags of flavour! Again, a smooth, smooth drink that can be drunk neat with the utmost ease!
Yellowstone Select and Minor Case are distributed in the UK by Woolf Sung. RRP for both is £49.00 in 70cl. bottles.
Many thanks to limestonebranch.com for the very enjoyable samples!
They can also be found on Twitter @limestonebranch.