When you are descendants of bourbon history-making families, bourbon might be your birth rite. Limestone Branch is a distillery born of two well-known bourbon families dating back as far as seven generations on the paternal side. If the distillery was only known for resurrecting the Yellowstone brand, it would be an accomplishment. Creating the unique Minor Case Rye Whiskey is memorable. However, what Steve and Paul Beam created is larger, resulting in a friendly, relaxed distillery that makes excellent spirits.

Tasting room at Limestone Branch Distillery
The cozy and intimate tasting room at Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky.

The family tree

When you are related to Jacob Beam on your father’s side and J. W. Dant on your mother’s side, you could say that bourbon runs in the family. Jacob Beam was the man behind the creation of a bourbon, now known as Jim Beam.  J.W. Dant was a pioneering distiller that began distilling at the age of 16 by creating a wood still out of hollowed tree trunks. The Yellowstone brand started in 1872 at the J.B. Dant Distillery in Gethsemani, Kentucky, and has found its way back to the family members in Lebanon, Kentucky.

Three bottles of Yellowstone Bourbon from Limestone Branch
Yellowstone Select, Limited Edition, and Single Barrel from the Experimental Collection.

The products

During my first visit years ago, the line up of bourbons and rye whiskey was still just part of the vision. The one constant was our guide, Steve, who is one of the more entertaining and knowledgeable guides in the industry. Yellowstone Select and Limited Edition are their easily recognized bourbon offerings. Select at 93 proof is a smooth easy drinking bourbon with fruit and caramel notes. Limited Edition is a robust 101 proof aged for 9 years with a creamy mouthfeel and strong hints of vanilla and butterscotch. Minor Case Rye Whiskey, finished in Sherry Casks, continues to be a personal favorite. If you like rye whiskey and have not tried Minor Case, be sure to do so. I sampled their Bowling and Burch gin during my recent visit. In no way am I a gin expert, but the product was unique, flavorful, and unlike most gins, I had ever sampled before.

The experimental collection

One unique product I sampled was a bourbon from the Limestone Branch experimental collection. Featuring a mash bill of corn, rye, and chocolate malt, this was one unique bourbon. At 95 proof, it was a distinct and flavorful bourbon. I was sure to purchase this single barrel distillery selection for my collection. Several different product offerings are available to buy only at the distillery.

A great experience

I have experienced a lot of tours at many different distilleries over the years. The resident guide and historian Steve is one of the best, and he has a wealth of knowledge of not only Limestone Branch but the family history behind their successes. He is one of the best and is one of many reasons to be sure to visit. While at Limestone Branch, be sure to enjoy a memorable cocktail in their bar or on their patio. A Black Tea Manhattan or a decadent Snizzleschitz for you coffee lovers will make your day. Everyone is welcoming and accommodating, which is an essential piece of every quality bourbon experience.

The partnership

Luxco became a partner with Limestone Branch in 2015. This partnership creates synergies for the two organizations. Limestone Branch gives Luxco an entry into the craft distilling market, and Luxco brings the ability of more significant distilling volume. It is interesting to note that Luxco, at one time, owned the Yellowstone brand.