Yellowstone Limited Edition 2016

89 Good

This is one of the more rye-forward flavor profiles of the year, with a ton of black pepper kick on the rear palate. The wine barrel finish, however, helps tame it into a nice, sweet sip with plenty of viscous mouthfeel.

  • Appearance 9.2
  • Aroma 8.8
  • Palate 8.8
  • Finish 8.9
Media Sample

ModernThirst was provided a sample of this whiskey for review with no strings attached.  The opinions and ratings are our own.

What it is

yellowstone-2016-le-bottle-imageFrom the press release:
This year’s limited edition combines two extra-aged rye mashed bourbons – a stately 12-year and a bold 7-year – hand-selected and finished for several months in new toasted wine barrels. The result is a small batch legendary bourbon with a truly unique complexity and character.

“We used 28 new wine barrels with varying levels of toast – I was interested in how toasting versus charring would contribute to the bourbon,” says Steve Beam, president and distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery. “The result was a delightful nose that is full of vanilla, sweet tea and summer fruit with a hint of smoke.”

Bottled at 101 proof and available in 750ml bottles signed by Steve Beam and nestled in commemorative tubes, Yellowstone Limited Edition offers a taste profile of spiced oak, roasted coffee with creamy notes of vanilla, rich chocolate and fresh berries, and a smoky caramel finish. Approximately 7,000 bottles of this bourbon are being produced this fall at Limestone Branch Distillery, and the suggested retail price is $99.99.

Yellowstone Limited Edition 2016 Vital Stats
  • ABV: 50.5% (Proof: 101º)
  • Mash Bill: unknown (mixture of two rye recipe bourbons)
  • Barrel Entry Proof: unknown
  • Barrel Char Level: unknown
  • Secondary Aging: Toasted Wine Barrels
  • Age:7 Years
  • Producer: Limestone Branch (Sourced)
  • Price Paid: Media Sample ($99.99 MSRP)
  • Availability: Limited


Tall, sloped bottle with dark label.  The bottles are packaged in commemorative tubes similar to the YellowStone Select packaging.  Very nice.


Dark, golden amber.


Dark, juicy red fruits greet the nose with aromas of plums, grapes, and port.  There is plenty of pleasing vanilla and oak as well.



Immediately, the rye content is evident with a prickly black pepper spice on the rear palate.  But there are heavy notes of vanilla and maple syrup on the front palate that give way to the spice.  The mid palate gets a quick burst of herbal green tea, some mild cloves, and a hint of black cherry before the rye kicks in.


The rye continues to be the main exhibit, but at the tail end of this medium to long finish, the dark fruits and wine barrel finish make another appearance with plenty of toasted oak.



My initial impressions were positive with this sip, and that did not change throughout my tasting.  There is an extremely heavy note of black pepper rye throughout the entire sip.  It’s almost too much, but the wine barrel finish helps tone it down to a manageable level.  Overall, I’m generally not a huge fan of wine barrel finished bourbons, but with the heavy rye, it was a necessity with this bourbon.  In the end, it works, and it works well. The result is a spicy/sweet bourbon with excellent creamy mouthfeel. Whether or not this justifies dropping a benjamin on a bottle is up to the consumer, but the product itself is a tasty little sip. score: 89 out of 100 points.



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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. Since college, he has dabbled in beer, bourbon, wine tasting, beer making, and currently works in finance. He has also been published on He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at


    • It almost certainly is still bourbon. Bourbon regulations only tell you what conditions must be met to be bourbon…in other words, the minimum requirements. There is no prohibition against flavoring techniques. However, it may not be STRAIGHT bourbon, since the barrel finish could be a technique used solely for adding flavor, which must not be used in STRAIGHT bourbon or whiskey.

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