Spirited Storytelling: Your Weekend #Wordpour
Sometimes as you head into the weekend, you begin thinking about the questions and situations that have come up during the week. Some are funny, some are frustrating, some just make you shake your head...but all have a story behind them.
One question that came up for me this week was "What is #wordpour" and why do you use it? #Wordpour is the best way to sum up everything that I've ever been passionate about in my life, and tying it up into one simple hashtag. I have spent my life doing pretty much nothing but writing, talking, pouring myself into a river or a lake, or pouring over great conversation with people while pouring a fantastic wine or whiskey into my glass. The one thing all of these things have in common is a great story waiting to be shared. #Wordpour is the best way I could explain how there is always a great story ready to start flowing. You just have to let it pour. Today is no exception.
I love wine and whiskey. The histories, the flavor profiles, the culture, the process of making it...all of it. So much so that I have a Certified Specialist of Wine designation and am working on my Certified Bourbon Professional designation. I find it all fascinating, but the thing I love the most is telling people that might not know much about them, the stories that go with a particular brand or beverage. One of the stories I love right now is the story of the Yellowstone Bourbon brand. Let me share some of the history and what makes this brand so amazing.
Yellowstone Bourbon was founded in 1872 in Kentucky by J.B. Dant, son of J.W. Dant who was credited as one of the the founders of the sour mash used to make quality bourbons today. The name was chosen as a tribute to Yellowstone National Park which was founded the same year. The Dant family was considered bourbon royalty up until the Great Depression, surviving Prohibition by selling as a "medicinal product" through the Brown-Forman company (the company that represents Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve, and Old Forester today). By the end of World War 2, sales had plummeted and they sold off to other companies who didn't do much with the brand and actually sold it as a lower shelf product.
Fast forward to 2015...Luxco (the company that ended up with the rights to the Yellowstone Brand), decided to buy shares into the Limestone branch Distillery which was owned by Steve and Paul Beam (yes..THAT Beam family). Here's where the story gets REALLY good.
Steve and Paul Beam are not only descendants of Jacob Beam (Jim Beam products/Early Times Bourbon), but are also descendants of J.W. Dant (the family that founded Yellowstone) on their Mother's side...they are legitimately Bourbon Royal Family! Part of the deal in Luxco buying into the distillery was that Yellowstone Bourbon would be produced at the Limestone branch facility. Steve and Paul actually have some of the original mash-bill recipes, so that history dating back to 1872 goes into every bottle they produce!
But that's not all. Not only do the family ties and amazing history come into play with the bourbon produced, but for every bottle sold, they donate to the National Parks Conservation Association. That's the same non-profit that protects their namesake of Yellowstone National Park.
So how does it taste? Well, there are two Yellowstone Bourbons to try. The first is the Yellowstone Special Reserve. This is a great every day drinker. Not overpowering with the alcohol at 93 proof. On the nose it's sweet: Vanilla, cherries, and baking spices (think cloves, cardamom, and allspice...winter spices). On the palate, it's got a lot of earthiness. Walnuts come to mind...there's pepper, charred oak, burnt caramel, and unsweetened baking cocoa. It's not overly sweet, but it's not like chewing on wood either. It's got great balance and is a perfect workhorse for cocktails or just sipping after work.
The second is a showcase and comes at a higher price tag. Harder to find, the Yellowstone 2020 Special Edition is Cask Strength and finished in Armagnac barrels. What does that mean? Well, the alcohol content is higher for one, coming in at 101 proof. Even so, it's so well balanced and smooth, you don't realize that it's more of a heavy hitter. You don't get a huge amount of "burn" in your throat and nose when you drink it. It's smooth like a Barry White album. What is Armagnac? Well it's French Brandy...the good stuff. You've heard of Cognac? Same stuff only from the Armagnac region of France. These barrels give a bit more extra punch to the flavors than a Cognac barrel would give. And oh...what flavors. Full bodied with upfront flavors of soft leather, burnt orange, dark fruits like plum, and vanilla. Finishes with luxurious and delicious toasted coconut notes, cinnamon, and a touch of smoky oak. It's pricey but worth every penny. You've heard the saying "dress to impress?" This one is "pour to get more."
There's a little something for everyone in the story of this brand. Whether you like family histories, American history, if you're a foodie or a beverage connoisseur, or maybe you love the outdoors and preserving our National Parks as much as I do, there's reasons galore to check out this brand and it's story.
Until next time, here's hoping your weekend is full of your own memorable stories.
Sheral~Owner/Founder of C3 Specialties