Everyone’s getting into the single malt game now that the official TTB rules have been proposed — Jesus, even Jack Daniel’s has a single malt — so it’s only natural that Yellowstone would drop one sooner or later. Like most of Yellowstone’s production, this one’s also sourced — this one from Indiana, which is proof that MGP makes freakin’ everything.
It’s got no age statement but the company says it is 4 years old. No information on the barrel program is included, but it’s safe to assume this was aged in new oak barrels, not used.
Sure enough, this has all the hallmarks of new cask aging, kicking off with an intense note of tobacco on the nose, paired with a thick layer of barrel char and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Tarry but short of creosote-laden, it is a departure from a world where single malts are providing a lighter, fresher experience, instead retreating to its particular foxhole, shoveling out the dirt.
The tobacco note endures. The palate is closer to green tobacco than dried, still fresh with some turned earth notes and notes of roasted vegetables. Well-roasted cereal — a lot darker than your typical single malt — fills in the gaps, quite chewy and rich with caramel, almost burnt. Some brooding fruit — flamed banana, baked apples — come into focus eventually, but they struggle against a backdrop of barrel char and torched barley. A slightly honeyed note sweetens up the finish, but only moderately. Touches of ground coffee and ashy barrel char are what resonate for the long haul. There’s plenty of charm to go around, though it shows in fits and spurts. As with most American single malts, it’s a whiskey that would clearly benefit from spending its time in refill barrels rather than new.
B / $55 / limestonebranch.com