About – “This year’s edition features a seven-year-old straight bourbon finished in French Armagnac barrels. The new release brings a soft leather aroma with hints of honeydew melon, vanilla notes on the palate with hints of burnt orange and dried plum. The finish is toasted coconut with lingering oak making for a well-rounded, deeply satisfying bourbon.”
“When I began working on this limited edition, I knew I wanted to finish our bourbon in a cask and I was
looking for one that would add complexity and a dimension that expands the flavor profile,” says Steve Beam, master distiller at Limestone Branch Distillery. “Armagnac is a rustic, full-bodied spirit that contributes dark fruit notes, complementing the vanilla notes in the bourbon. Just like a chef adds spices to enhance flavors, I believe cask-finishing should be similar, where it simply enhances the natural flavors in the bourbon.” Approximately 5,000 cases are being produced. Yellowstone 2020 LE is bottled at 101 proof and has a retail price of around $100.
Nose – Oak and spice make a quick first impression. That is followed up by ripe melon. The combination leaves me with licorice on the brain. The longer it sits the melon becomes even more prevalent.
Palate – The melon from the nose is coming across in a big way. Just a splash of fresh melon to start things off. There is a nice oak structure backing that up adding a slight funk and brings that classic vanilla note along with it. There is a bit of nutmeg leading into a slightly spicy and oak tannin laden finish that is medium in length.
Score – B+
Verdict – With this release Limestone Branch achieved exactly what Steve Beam set out to do. The Armagnac finishing has give a big lift of fresh melon to the classic bourbon notes. All in all it hits me as a refreshing combination, something that would be perfect for spring/summer front porch sipping. Yellowstone has also changed their bottle design for this release (pictured above) in a way that is much more striking visually. I have felt in the past that Yellowstone LE’s are unfairly passed over by a lot of people. I remember enjoying the 2018 release in particular. All in all this is a limited edition that is fairly easy to come by and not outrageously priced. I recommend picking this one up if it fits into your budget.