Monday, November 30, 2020

Yellowstone Liquor 'n' Wine Private Barrel Select Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $35
- 93 Proof
- 4 Years
- Kentucky

I'm a sucker for store picks.  And I'm even more of a sucker for very affordable store picks. That's why my whiskey closet is always stocked with at least one Buffalo Trace, Elijah Craig, Eagle Rare and Knob Creek pick at any given moment. They are all solid bourbons on their own, and I love the possibility and hope of getting something phenomenal at a great price. While it doesn't happen every time, it happens often enough to make it well worth the spend.

I don't come across Yellowstone picks nearly as frequently. But, when I was meandering through the aisles of my local Liquor 'n' Wine a couple months back, this one caught my eye, and for $35, it was an easy decision to buy it. Generally speaking, to me regular Yellowstone has been good but not necessarily great. But, I figure the odds were in my favor that whatever was in this bottle was not likely to be any worse, and there was a good chance I'd get something better and at a great price.

On the nose I got a lot of brown sugar and caramel. It was certainly sweet, but that richer sweet. Interestingly, I got a light bitter note, almost a tannic note, which was surprising given the relatively young age of the whiskey. It also had a light black pepper and cinnamon spice to it, as well as a touch of almond.

My initial impressions of the flavor were that the sweetness was there, but it came across as muted. It was almost as though it had the caramel flavor but without the caramel sweetness. It was kind of odd in this respect.

I also got some funky flavors as well. I noted at one point that I got a bit of mustiness, and from time to time that mustiness came across as a leathery flavor. Either way it had an earthiness to it that, if this were a sweeter bourbon, would have been fine. Here, however, I wasn't a big fan.

Throughout the bottle, at least up until the last couple pours, the flavor remained a bit muted. I did get some more interesting notes, like a bright, citrusy orange note as well as a toasted almond type note. I even got a sort of a coffee note, perhaps that bitterness I was getting on the nose. It reminded me of a macchiato.  I really felt like this drank like an older bourbon, one with 15+ years, given the amount of wood and bitterness I was getting. 

Interestingly, ad I've had this happen before, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise, but the last two pours from the bottom of this bottle were absolutely outstanding. They were sweeter, had a bit more cinnamon spice, and were absolute caramel bombs. A lot of the bitterness completely subsided.  If the entire bottle struck me the way these last two pours did, this would have easily been an A+ bottle. They were that good! I only wish every other pour could have been as good. That said, funky notes aside, I'll still be keeping my eye out for more Yellowstone picks, even if just to relive the experience of those last two pours.

Grade: B

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