This is the final version of an experiment Steve Beam has been doing by finishing some Yellowstone whiskey in wine barrels. This experiment started in 2016 when Steve put some Bourbon in used wine barrels that were only toasted. After emptying the barrels, he sent them back to Kelvin Cooperage to be charred to a number one char. He re-filled them in 2017 with some Bourbon, including some four year old Bourbon he made at Limestone Branch Distillery as well as some sourced Bourbon. The final phase came this year when he took those empty barrels from 2017 and sent them to Kelvin Cooperage again to be charred to a number three char. The cooperage did not scrape the old char away and there was some spirit still in the barrel each time they charred the barrels. The heat from the process changed the flavors but there was still some flavor left after each charring of the barrels. This is the last time he plans to use these barrels. The Bourbon used in 2018 again included some of his four year old Bourbon but also quite a lot of 12 year old sourced Bourbon. It is an interesting experiment and the flavors are very good in each year’s edition. I am told by Steve that next year he is going to do an aged statement Bourbon – probably nine years old – as his Limited Edition Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Limited Edition 2018
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Very Brandy-like. Some fruit – grapes, dates and berries, with vanilla, caramel and sweet oak wood.
Taste: A nice and creamy mouth-feel. Rich vanilla, caramel and fruit – dates and berries, with a hint of baking spices and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry actually reduces the fruit flavors while enhancing the spices and oak. Tasted with a pecan makes it very sweet with caramel and chocolate notes, but less fruit and spice.
Finish: It starts fruity but dries out with oak and spice. The cranberry makes the finish very spicy and dry. The pecan sweetens the finish and makes it a very short finish.
To pair with this Bourbon I am smoking a Davidoff Limited Edition – The Chef’s Edition. I find the smoke very much dominated by umami flavors of earthy tobacco and Worcestershire sauce spiciness. The Bourbon brings out vanilla and caramel in the smoke while the smoke enhances the chocolate notes of the Bourbon. An excellent pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller