It’s round five for Yellowstone’s special-edition bourbon releases, which always hits at the tail end of the year and offers a much different experience than the standard Yellowstone Select bottling — as well as the prior year releases. For 2020, Yellowstone Limited Edition is a seven-year old bourbon (younger than last year) that has been finished in French Armagnac barrels for an unstated length of time. (Note the new bottle design, also.)
I like it a lot.
The nose is evocative, woody and winey, its heavy oak base — shades of lumberyard, but not overwhelmingly so — layered intensely with mulling spices, prunes, and a smattering of savory herbs. The palate takes this somewhat austere beginning and spins it in another direction, offering bright notes of red berries, butterscotch, and a spicy, herbal quality that adds a savory edge. Some aggressive aromatics invite continued exploration as it continues to develop in the glass. On the finish, the whiskey finds itself surprisingly full of fruit, with a mixed berry element that tends toward light raisin notes — the Armagnac element showing itself — and a gentle chocolate character. There’s a hint of orange peel here, too, evoking a bit of a holiday character.
The whiskey doesn’t always connote balance, but it is engaging from start to finish, invariably offering something new with every sniff or sip. It’s arguably my favorite release in this series to date.