One of the things that I think that small distilleries have brought to the whiskey world is a willingness to experiment. To find different flavor profiles and to bring them to the world. They almost have to. If you are making the same style of whiskey as the big guys and don't have their economies of scale, they will beat you on price every time. But if you are offering something different, then maybe you can more easily convince people that your product is worth spending a little extra to support.
Tonight's whiskey comes from a small distillery that has been putting out some fantastic bourbon under the Yellowstone and Minor Case brands. Almost all of that whiskey was sourced, though the latest Yellowstone did contain a bit of their whiskey as well. So though I knew they had good palates, I wasn't exactly sure how their in-house bourbon would taste.
So when I saw that there were three young single barrel "Experimental Collection" bourbons from Limestone Branch at Total Wine in Kentucky, I felt like I needed to pick them up. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect. Would it be a familiar flavor profile? Something completely different? I didn't know, but I did know Steve Beam, and I also knew he's good at what he does. So I pulled the trigger.
Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Bourbon
Purchase Info: $22.99 for a 375 mL bottle at Total Wine, Louisville, KY
Details: 47.5% ABV. Single Barrel. Barrel 11. Mash bill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malt. Barrel Entry ABV: 54.57%. Barrel Char level 3. Aged 24 months.
Nose: Smells young. Wet coffee grounds and old lumber.
Mouth: Nice spice. Orange slice jelly candies, bitter almond, anise, and a fair dose of charcoal.
Finish: Medium length. Citrus and almond fade to reveal the dried grains used in its creation as well as a menthol mintiness.
Thoughts: On my first try of this whiskey, I was not a fan. As I've spent a little more time with it, I've started to come around. I think this was just so different that, initially, I was thrown off a bit. Yes, this is young. And yes, you can tell from teh nose and the taste. But it doesn't taste bad, as many young whiskeys can. It's just really different. It doesn't taste grainy until the end of the finish. I kinda like it. Is it my favorite thing on the shelf? No. But I'm glad to have picked it up and help support (and taste) a bit of experimentation.
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