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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition

Steve and Paul Beam at Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky (which partners with Luxco), have spent the last 18 months or so reviving their family history with the Yellowstone brand.  After releasing a 105 proof Limited Edition last year, they followed up this Fall with a 101 proof blend of 7-year and 12-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (both with rye as the secondary grain), and finished in wine barrels with varying levels of toast (i.e., not charred).

Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Toasted Wine Barrels


Seven-year age statement, but blended with 12-year

50.5% ABV (101 proof)


Tasting Notes

Not really dark, but a nice heavy amber.

Vanilla, sweet tea, brown sugar, and light fruits, with some oak in the background.

The flavors shift immediately to rye, black pepper, oak, and strong tea, with sweetness playing the chorus role with cherry cola, cocoa, and vanilla.  There are also some nuanced flavors that come and go, so this is best sipped slowly to enjoy those flavors and the creaminess.

I apologize for burying the lead; the finish drives the 2016 Yellowstone Limited Edition.  While rye spice dominates, there’s more sweetness (finally some caramel, but a rich, non-candied caramel) to balance it out as the warmth builds and spreads, but not aggressively. 

Bottom Line

This is a great follow-up to the Yellowstone 2015 Limited Edition by being different than its predecessor.  The 2016 Limited Edition is more nuanced and probably more approachable.  It provides rye spice galore, balanced with oak and sweetness, albeit not equally in the aromas and flavors. 

Thanks to a friend, I compared the 2016 Limited Edition with a sample of Old Ezra 101 7-year Bourbon, which is also a Luxco-sourced brand, but costs just under $20.00 in most markets.  The Old Ezra was pleasant with most of the expected aromas and flavors, and it’s tempting to get into my rotation for that price point.  It was an interesting comparison, but night-and-day different due to blend with older Bourbon and the wine barrel finish.

Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  3.5

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.

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