Yellowstone puts out a Limited Edition bottling of its whiskey every year, but for 2022 we’re checking this out alongside another special release, a special version of its Yellowstone Family Recipe 6 Years Old, bottled to honor the namesake national park and its 150th anniversary. The former is new, but the latter came out way back in January, so we’re late to the game on this one, I’m sad to say. While it would be easy to dismiss this 150th anniversary bottling as nothing different from standard bottlings of Yellowstone Select bourbon with a different label on it, this is actually a different animal, bottled at 100 proof (vs. 93) and carrying a 6 year old age statement.
Details follow in each of the writeups below.
Yellowstone Family Reserve 6 Years Old 150th Anniversary Edition – Also known as the “Landmark Edition,” though it doesn’t contain that text on the label, this whiskey features six different labels, all with scenes from Yellowstone. It is unfortunately not the best whiskey I’ve had from the operation, kicking off with a very tough, leathery nose that feels blown out with wood and creosote notes. Some Port wine sweetness emerges with time, but altogether the kickoff is rough. Things take a weird turn on the palate, which starts off almost sickly sweet with raspberry jam notes, then turns back toward oak — overpoweringly so — on the finish. Evergreen notes don’t really gel here, and the whole affair feels surprisingly thin despite being bottled at 50% abv. The finish is the least engaging part of all — dusty gravel, coal smoke, and more leather. Sadly, nothing much came together on this one for me. 100 proof. C- / $40
Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon 2022 – A much different animal than the above, this year’s Yellowstone LE is a mix of 15- and 16-year-old bourbons that have been blended with a 7-year-old bourbon that has been finished in Marsala Superiore casks. Marsala is having an “it” moment in the whiskey world, and there’s no mistaking the impact it has on this whiskey, imbuing the nose with a huge fruit character that evokes figs and, especially, toasted coconut. Layers of wood temper what comes across on the whole as a bit doughy, albeit engaging. The palate is again quite sweet with notes of Port wine, butterscotch, and eventually sugar cookie dough. Light on its feet but on the thin side, the finish pulls out elements of dark chocolate and a menthol character, though filtered through a somewhat weedy character that leaves a vegetal taste on the tongue. I was hoping for a richer experience here, but Marsala wine invariably leaves its mark on the experience, for better or worse. Compare to releases from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. 101 proof. B+ / $100 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]