In the first tasting by Whisky4All I participated in we tasted the 2019 bottling of Yellowstone’s Limited Editon. I instantly bought a bottle because of the enormous complexity and goodness it showed. Even before I wrote notes, or told the ‘tasting’ that I loved it.
Of course, we’re in Europe so it’s rather expensive and therefore I didn’t keep it all to myself, and sold some samples. Still, there’s a nice part for me to enjoy.
A few days after that tasting I was at De Whiskykoning and I saw that there was a sample of the 2017 limited edition. Of course, a comparison had to be made!
Interestingly enough I never looked twice at ‘Yellowstone bourbon’. Yet another cheaply branded product named after some random landmark in the United States. Can’t be any good, right? Wrong. As it turned out.
Also, it’s not as randomly branded and is a brand with a bit of history behind it and I should have done my homework. But, better late than never! So here we go (in a Mario voice).
As I just found out, there’s a bit of an age difference too, with the 2017 being 7 years old, and the 2019 being 9 years old. Also, the 2017 is finished in wine barrels.
Yellowstone Limited Edition 2017, 50.5% (101 proof)
Initially I get the typical bourbon like notes with corn and vanilla. It takes a while to open up but the wine starts coming through pretty clearly. However, I am not entirely convinced about the combination of flavors. There’s a bit of rancio, some oak and blue grape juice.
The palate is very sweet but it goes in two different directions. There’s a wine like, almost port like, sweetness. But also a more pastry like sweetness that I find more typical for bourbon. Some chili heat for a bit of heat.
The finish is slightly hot too, surprisingly so for a 50.5% whiskey. It’s also a bit more dry and shows some spiciness that wasn’t there before. The wine stays in another lane again.
Well, this is weird. I expected to really like this whiskey, because it’s in the same product line as the 2019 version. This is a hugely different product though, with a far weirder approach. The wine and bourbon combination is not something I think works. Both the wine and the bourbon itself come with a certain sweetness and it doesn’t really integrate well, apparently.
Yellowstone Limited Edition 2019, 50.5% (101 proof)
Lots of warmth, maturity and character. ‘Wybertjes’, menthol, thyme, bay leaf. Some sweetness but just as a carrier for the other flavors. Rye bread crust.
The palate shows a bit more punch, but isn’t overly sharp. Menthol, aniseed, again the Wybertjes (Dutch honey candies). Quite some oak and after a while some more heat, but not a lot.
The finish shows some more fruit, with plums and peaches. But also corn syrup, caramel, resin and pine.
The added two years softened this whiskey a lot. The ABV is the same but it drinks a lot more smoothly. The complexity is huge, on par with much older scotch whiskies. Not to say it’s comparable, but it does have as much to offer.
I am absolutely in love with this stuff. Of course, it’s a lot more expensive here than it is stateside, although the difference is less than I expected. Only about 100% more expensive here.
Still, I’m happy with my share and I’ll gladly drink this!