Advantage After Hours Episode 3 - Yellowstone Toasted
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Advantage After Hours Episode 3: Yellowstone Toasted Review

After two high proof whiskies in our first two episodes, we’re dialing it back a bit this time with a 100-proofer. In Episode 3 of Advantage After Hours, we taste and review Yellowstone Toasted from Limestone Branch Distillery.

Advantage After Hours shows what happens when four guys (and special guests) with vastly different whiskey tastes and experiences try and review a whiskey for the first time. Naturally, the result is a well-rounded review from four different perspectives, rather than just from the hardcore bourbon drinkers that you find in most reviews.

About Limestone Branch

While our past two reviews have been from non-distilling producers and newer brands, Nevada H&C Distilling Co. and Buzzard’s Roost, this review is a brand that traces back seven generations to one of bourbon’s most hallowed names.

Limestone Branch Distillery was founded about 10 years ago in Lebanon, Ky. by Stephen and Paul Beam. Yes, part of the Jim Beam family, although from a different branch of the family tree. Jacob Beam — Stephen and Paul’s great-great-uncle — started it all in 1795, with his bourbon, Old Jake Beam. Joseph Washington Dant, their great-great-grandfather, had his own distillery in the early 1800s, and Minor Case Beam, their great-grandfather, took over the Gesthamane Distillery in 1883 and renamed it Head and Beam. Their grandfather, Guy, brought the distillery through prohibition by moving it to Canada, and their dad, Jimmy, worked in distilleries as well.

In 2010, Stephen and Paul decided it was time to enter the whiskey business, and two years later, Limestone Branch Distillery officially opened, not far away from where Jacob Beam began. Their flagship brand, Yellowstone, got its name from a traveling salesman who, in 1872, “returned from a trip out west and told the family about the first national park that was about to open — Yellowstone — and suggested they name their bourbon after it.” Stephen and Paul produced Yellowstone Bourbon with the same 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley mash bill that Joseph Washington Dant originally created.

Their Products

Limestone Branch has a solid line of products.

  • Yellowstone Select Bourbon – Bottled at 93 proof, their flagship bourbon is a blend of 4- and 7-year bourbons.
  • Yellowstone Toasted – Bottled at 100 proof, this adds five different toasted stave profiles — high toast, American oak double-toast, vanilla, rick house and spice rack — to the barrel to achieve a toasted finish.
  • Minor Case Rye – A 90 proof rye aged in cream sherry casts. It’s barely a rye with a 51% rye, 45% corn, 4% malted barley mash bill.
  • Yellowstone American Single Malt Whiskey – A 100% malted barley (single malt), aged for 4 years and bottled at 108 proof.
  • Bowling & Burch Gin – A small batch gin distilled with 19 botanicals, many of which are grown right behind the distillery.

In addition to their core products, Limestone Branch releases an annual limited-edition Yellowstone. This year’s version is a blend of 7-year, 13-year, and 16-year bourbons, finished in Tokaji casks. Beyond that, they also have some great cask strength Yellowstone single barrels that are easy to find through local liquor stores or bourbon clubs.

Yellowstone Toasted

The Details

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with toasted oak staves

Company: Limestone Branch Distillery

Distilled By: Limestone Branch Distillery

Price: $50

Age: 4 years

Mash Bill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley

Proof: 100

Tasted In: Glencairn

The Review

This tasting featured a much different offering than our previous two. Whereas they were both high-rye bourbons, this one had a much more classic bourbon mash bill. Whereas they were both high proof (117.5 and 115.4), this one is a “measly” 100. Whereas they were both distilled by MGP and then acquired by the brand to either bottle or finish and then bottle, this one was all done by the distiller.

The result was a pleasing, classic bourbon with a slight twist (toasted) that everyone on the whiskey drinker spectrum can appreciate. Even the non-bourbon drinker can appreciate the standard Yellowstone expression, and this version with the toasted stave finish only adds to the enjoyment of it.

In a whiskey era where everyone is tinkering with finishes — some may call them gimmicks — Yellowstone manages to do so the right way. Not every finished whiskey on the market can say that. The five different types of toasted staves that the Beams used enhance the bourbon rather than overpower it.

Justin, our most experienced whiskey drinker, found the classic bourbon notes on this one: caramel, vanilla, and some marshmallow from the toasted staves.

Matt, who has a good base and is starting to branch out, tasted some oak, smokiness, and sweetness.

Zach, who hates whiskey, felt all toasty inside, but noted that the burn wasn’t as bad as the past two.

Our special guest, Rocco the Italian, who really only drinks flavored whiskies, tasted the sweetness and enjoyed it.

The Verdict

With all of those classic bourbon notes — the caramel and vanilla sweetness — plus the oak and marshmallow from the toasted stave finish, this is a bourbon that can stand up across the spectrum. It’s familiar and tame enough for the newby, but the extra 7 proof points over the Yellowstone Select add a bit more “umph” for the seasoned whiskey drinker to enjoy. Its sweet spot is likely somewhere in between with the casual bourbon drinker who doesn’t care much for high proof but wants a little more than, say, Basil Hayden.

About Advantage After Hours

In each episode, we will taste and review a different whiskey that none of us have tried before. Each of us has a vastly different experience and taste in whiskey, so rather than getting a review from only hardcore whiskey drinkers, you get four different perspectives on that same whiskey:

  • Justin (The Adventurer) has hundreds of bottles. All of them are open and available to share with family and friends. He loves to try the latest releases from Chattanooga, Starlight, or Penelope more than hunting for Pappy, Weller, or Blanton’s.
  • Jim (The Traditionalist) is open to trying anything, but really just likes a Jack & Coke. His favorite whiskey is the basic Jack Daniel’s.
  • Matt (The Upstart) is familiar with the basics and looking to branch out to new whiskies. He loves anything from Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill.
  • Zach (The Newb) hates whiskey. If it were up to him, he would never drink it, but he’s a good sport for Advantage After Hours. His go-to drink is a tequila shot or Captain Morgan.

Our plan is to invite special guests to join us for each episode and we can’t wait to see what they think of the whiskies we taste as well.

We will also highlight a different trailer in each episode. This week’s featured trailer is an ATC Stō 350 adventure cargo trailer. Part cargo trailer, part toy hauler, full-time adventure trailer. With 178-feet of configurable wall space and an upper and lower modular track system, you can load up your toys for a weekend of camping, hunting, or fishing, or simply remove everything and use as a cargo trailer.

As of Dec. 14, 2023, we have two of them inside our showroom. One has a 6-foot fold-down sofa bed and front cabinets with sink. The other is a blank slate on the inside. With a purchase of either of them, you can shop ATC’s modular add-ons to finish it out as you please. Interested? Give us a call, send us a text via the widget on our site, or submit a quote request.

ATC Sto 350 toy hauler
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