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Who Makes Yellowstone Bourbon? Answered (2024 Best Edition)

who makes yellowstone bourbon

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Lydia Martin

When it comes to bourbons with long, complicated histories, Yellowstone Bourbon probably tops the list. It’s exchanged quite a few hands in ownership since its inception in the late 1880s, so it isn’t easy to track who currently owns it. 

We’ve done our in-depth research to give you the details on who makes Yellowstone Bourbon today. 

Who Owns & Makes Yellowstone Bourbon?

Limestone Branch Distillery 

Yellowstone Bourbon is owned and produced by Luxco and produced at the Limestone Branch Distillery. Other spirits produced in the distillery include Minor Case Rye Whiskey and Bowling and Burch Gin. 

Paul and Steve Beam founded Limestone Branch Distillery in 2010, who were descendants of J.B. Dant and the famed Beam family. In 2015, they partnered with Luxco (previously David Sherman) to bring Yellowstone Bourbon back to its familial roots. 

Yellowstone has been in the industry since the late 1800s and was founded by J.B. Dant himself, one of the many sons of J.W. Dant. 

J.W. Dant was famous for using a log still, as he couldn’t afford a copper still for his bourbons. He was one of the biggest distillers during the 1830s. 

When Was It First Introduced? 

Yellowstone Bourbon

J.B. Dant first introduced Yellowstone Bourbon in 1872, but it hadn’t been called Yellowstone then. He distilled it at the Cold Springs Distillery in Gethsemane, Kentucky. J.B. Dant’s bourbon was one of D.H. Taylor & Co.’s biggest-selling brands. 

When Charles Townsend, a salesman for D.H. Taylor & Co., did an informal poll of their customers, they revealed that they would be interested in a brand of bourbon named after the newly opened Yellowstone National Park. 

They made the business decision of rebranding J.B. Dant’s bourbon to Yellowstone, which was a huge success. By the 1960s, it was the largest selling brand in Kentucky. 

Where Did Yellowstone Bourbon Get Its Name? 

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bourbon was named after the Yellowstone National Park [1], a 3,500-sq.m. recreation area located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Part of the bottle’s proceeds goes to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving and nurturing the country’s national parks for future generations. 

Yellowstone was the first national park with unique hydrothermal and geologic features for the public to enjoy. It features Old Faithful, the most famous gushing geyser in the location. 

Apart from natural attractions, it’s also home to hundreds of animal species. 

A Brief History On The Makers & Owners 

A Brief History On The Makers & Owners

Coldsprings Distillery

Cold Springs Distillery was the first distillery to produce Yellowstone Bourbon in 1872. This distillery was owned by J.B. Dant, one of J.W. Dant’s many sons who dabbled in the distilling business. 

Taylor & Williams

Yellowstone Select Bourbon

Yellowstone Bourbon was sold under Taylor & Williams when John T. Williams joined D.H. Taylor in 1876. It became their flagship brand, alongside Honey Dew and Rich Hill, which J.B. Dant also produced for them at the Cold Springs Distillery.

Under Taylor & Williams, Yellowstone Bourbon underwent a makeover and was bottled with a label featuring the waterfall at Yellowstone Park. 

Williams acquired the shares for Taylor & Williams when Taylor retired in 1892. When he retired in 1900, he sold the company to J.B. Dant. 

Glenmore Distilleries

By 1944, when the entire country was still reeling from the aftermath of the Second World War [2], Taylor & Williams was sold to Glenmore Distilleries. Glenmore made Yellowstone one of their flagship brands. 

Under Glenmore, Yellowstone Bourbon became the biggest-selling whiskey brand in Kentucky. They were behind the Yellowstone “Mellow-mash” advertising campaign, which gave rise to the premium Yellowstone expression Mellow-mash. 

United Distillers

Bourbon sales eventually dwindled all over the country during the ‘70s, Yellowstone included. Glenmore had to make a decision: to either reopen the Yellowstone or Medley Distillery. 

Glenmore did neither — instead, they sold the company to United Distillers in 1991. However, United Distillers didn’t open either distillery to support Yellowstone and sold the company once more. 

Heaven Hill

Heaven Hill

Enter Heaven Hill, who bought the two-for-one deal in 1993. They didn’t hold on to the brand for long, though, and eventually sold it to the David Sherman Corporation. 

David Sherman Corporation

David Sherman became the longest-holding company of Yellowstone after it had been passed around for years. It is a privately owned producer and marketer of distilled beverages and liqueurs. 

Florida Distillers

Florida Distillers Company Factory House

The two distilleries — Yellowstone and Medley — were eventually bought by Florida Distillers, who used the locations to make flavorings for fortified wines and bottled cocktail drinks. The warehouses had mostly been destroyed at this time, except for one that had been sold to Angel’s Envy


David Sherman was rebranded as Luxco in 2006. The company purchased shares of the Limestone Branch Distillery in 2015. 

Limestone Branch Distillery

Limestone Branch Distillery Oak Barrels

As of today, Limestone Branch Distillery produces and distills the brand. This distillery is owned by Paul and Steve Beam, descendants of J.B. Dant and the Beam Family. 

Part of the deal between Luxco and Limestone Branch was that Yellowstone would be given to Limestone Branch to produce.

Paul and Steve Beam are also excited to bring the label back to the family because they have the original mash bills from their great-grandfather J.B. Dant. 

With the supervision of the Beams and Limestone Branch distilling it, we’re happy to see Yellowstone doing good — so good that it is Limestone’s flagship brand.

Yellowstone has also moved back to the premium category of bourbons, with a price point of around $45 per 750ml. 

Who Makes Yellowstone Bourbon Now? 

Yellowstone Bourbon is produced and distilled at the Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky. It is owned by brothers Paul and Steve Beam, from bourbon family legends J.B. Dant and the Beams. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Yellowstone Bourbon owned by Jim Beam?

No, Yellowstone Bourbon is not owned by Jim Beam. Instead, it is crafted by Limestone Branch Distillery, an independent craft distillery nestled in Lebanon, Kentucky. Despite not being under the ownership of Jim Beam, Yellowstone Bourbon has its own rich history and legacy within the bourbon industry, dating back to the late 19th century when it was first introduced by J.B. Dant, a notable figure in distillation at the time.

Throughout its history, Yellowstone Bourbon has changed hands several times, but its commitment to quality and tradition has remained steadfast. Today, Limestone Branch Distillery proudly carries the torch for the brand, honoring its heritage while infusing it with modern expertise and innovation.

Who are the whiskey makers of Yellowstone?

The skilled whiskey makers behind Yellowstone Bourbon are the dedicated team at Limestone Branch Distillery. At the helm are master distiller Stephen Beam and his brother Paul Beam, who together serve as co-founders of the distillery. Hailing from a long line of distillers, the Beams bring generations of expertise and a deep-rooted passion for whiskey making to their craft.

Under Stephen and Paul’s guidance, Limestone Branch Distillery has earned a reputation for producing exceptional spirits, with Yellowstone Bourbon being a standout offering. The whiskey makers meticulously oversee every aspect of production, from selecting the finest grains to overseeing the aging process in charred oak barrels.

The Beams’ commitment to quality and innovation shines through in every bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon, as they strive to uphold the brand’s legacy while pushing the boundaries of bourbon whiskey.

Where is Yellowstone Bourbon made at?

Yellowstone Bourbon is proudly crafted at Limestone Branch Distillery, situated in the scenic countryside of Lebanon, Kentucky. Located in the heart of bourbon country, Limestone Branch Distillery draws upon the region’s rich distilling heritage and pristine natural resources to create its acclaimed spirits.

Nestled amidst rolling hills and fertile farmland, the distillery’s historic building provides a picturesque backdrop for the art of whiskey making. Here, a team of expert distillers meticulously oversee each step of the production process, from milling and mashing the grains to distillation, aging, and bottling.

At Limestone Branch Distillery, tradition meets innovation, with state-of-the-art facilities blending seamlessly with time-honored techniques. This harmonious marriage of old and new ensures that each batch of Yellowstone Bourbon embodies the craftsmanship, quality, and character that have become synonymous with the brand.

From the moment the grains are sourced to the final bottling, every detail is carefully attended to, resulting in a bourbon that captures the essence of Kentucky’s bourbon-making tradition. Yellowstone Bourbon’s home at Limestone Branch Distillery serves as a testament to the distillery’s unwavering dedication to producing world-class spirits that honor the legacy of the brand while pushing the boundaries of bourbon craftsmanship.

Is Yellowstone whiskey made by Buffalo Trace?

No, Yellowstone Bourbon is not made by Buffalo Trace. It is crafted by Limestone Branch Distillery, an independent craft distillery located in Lebanon, Kentucky. While both Yellowstone Bourbon and Buffalo Trace are esteemed bourbon brands, they are produced by separate distilleries with their own unique processes, traditions, and flavor profiles.

Limestone Branch Distillery takes pride in crafting Yellowstone Bourbon, employing traditional techniques and innovative approaches to create a bourbon that embodies the rich heritage of Kentucky whiskey-making. Each bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon reflects the expertise and dedication of the team at Limestone Branch Distillery, ensuring a distinct and memorable drinking experience for bourbon enthusiasts.

Who owns Jim Beam now?

Jim Beam, along with its parent company Beam Suntory, is currently owned by Suntory Holdings Limited, a Japanese multinational beverage company. Suntory Holdings acquired Beam Inc., the former parent company of Jim Beam, in 2014, in a landmark deal valued at approximately $16 billion. This acquisition brought together two iconic spirits companies, creating one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages in the world.

As part of Suntory Holdings, Jim Beam continues to uphold its legacy as one of the most recognized and respected bourbon brands globally. With a commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability, Jim Beam remains a cornerstone of the whiskey industry under the ownership of Suntory Holdings.

Why is it called Yellowstone Bourbon?

Yellowstone Bourbon derives its name from the iconic national park located primarily in Wyoming but also extending into parts of Montana and Idaho. The brand’s connection to Yellowstone National Park dates back to its origins in the late 19th century when it was first introduced by J.B. Dant, a prominent figure in the bourbon industry at the time.

The name “Yellowstone” was chosen to evoke images of the majestic landscapes, rugged terrain, and natural beauty of the park, which is renowned for its geysers, hot springs, and wildlife. By associating the bourbon with the grandeur and splendor of Yellowstone National Park, the brand sought to capture the spirit of adventure, exploration, and discovery that characterized the American frontier.

Today, Yellowstone Bourbon pays homage to its namesake by crafting premium bourbon whiskey that reflects the same sense of heritage, craftsmanship, and natural beauty that define Yellowstone National Park. Each bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon serves as a tribute to the legacy of the brand and the untamed spirit of the American West.

Is Yellowstone bourbon good?

Yes, Yellowstone Bourbon is widely regarded as a high-quality bourbon appreciated by whiskey enthusiasts. Crafted by Limestone Branch Distillery in Kentucky, Yellowstone Bourbon has earned praise for its rich flavor profile, smoothness, and overall drinking experience.

It often receives favorable reviews from critics and consumers alike, with its balanced blend of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice notes contributing to its appeal. Ultimately, taste preferences vary from person to person, but Yellowstone Bourbon has solidified its place among respected bourbon brands.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

While whiskey and bourbon are often used interchangeably, they are distinct categories of distilled spirits with specific characteristics:

Whiskey: Whiskey is a broad category of distilled spirits made from fermented grain mash. It typically includes grains such as barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whiskey is aged in wooden barrels, usually oak, which contributes to its flavor and character. There are various types of whiskey, including Scotch whisky (made in Scotland), Irish whiskey (made in Ireland), and American whiskey (made in the United States), among others.

Bourbon: Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that must meet specific legal requirements to be classified as such. It must be made primarily from corn (at least 51% corn), distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. Bourbon is known for its slightly sweet flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. It is often associated with the state of Kentucky, although it can be produced anywhere in the United States.

In summary, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is a subset of whiskey, distinguished by its unique production process and legal requirements.

Does Kevin Costner have a whiskey brand?

Yes, Kevin Costner, the acclaimed actor and filmmaker, has ventured into the world of spirits with his own whiskey brand called “Old West Bourbon.” Inspired by his love for the American West and its rugged spirit, Costner partnered with distillers to create a bourbon whiskey that pays homage to the frontier ethos and heritage of the Old West.

Old West Bourbon is crafted using traditional methods and premium ingredients, with a focus on quality and authenticity. While details about the specific distillery producing Old West Bourbon are not widely publicized, the brand has gained attention for its association with Costner and its commitment to capturing the essence of the American frontier in every bottle.

What kind of bourbon is Yellowstone?

Yellowstone Bourbon is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It is crafted using a mash bill consisting of corn, rye, and malted barley, adhering to the traditional bourbon-making process. Yellowstone Bourbon is aged in new charred oak barrels, allowing it to develop its signature flavor profile characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice.

As a Kentucky straight bourbon, Yellowstone Bourbon meets the stringent legal requirements set forth by the United States government for bourbon whiskey production.

Where is the best bourbon made?

Determining the “best” bourbon is subjective and often depends on individual taste preferences. However, Kentucky is widely recognized as the epicenter of bourbon production and is home to many renowned distilleries. The state’s unique climate, limestone-rich water, and distilling traditions contribute to the exceptional quality and character of its bourbons.

Some of the most well-known bourbon-producing regions in Kentucky include:

Bourbon Trail: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a popular tourist destination that showcases several distilleries located throughout central Kentucky. It includes iconic bourbon brands such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey, among others.

Bourbon Country: Beyond the Bourbon Trail, numerous other distilleries dot the Kentucky countryside, producing a wide range of bourbons with distinct flavor profiles and histories. These include smaller craft distilleries as well as larger, established brands.

While Kentucky is widely regarded as the heartland of bourbon production, exceptional bourbons can also be found in other regions of the United States, such as Tennessee, Indiana, and Texas, among others.

So, Who Makes Yellowstone Bourbon?

Yellowstone Bourbon is an award-winning bourbon that may have had a confusing past but is now on its way to a bright future. 

It was first produced in the late 1800s by J.B. Dant, who had a small business distilling whiskey in his humble Cold Springs Distillery. He peddled the brand to bigger names, such as D.H. Taylor and Co., who helped him sell his spirits. 

It moved around quite a bit, with Heaven Hill and United Distillers some of the biggest names to own it, until it made its way to Luxco, who partnered with Limestone Branch Distillery. 

Limestone Branch Distillery is owned by Paul and Steve Beam, both descendants of J.B. Dant and the Beam family. Part of their deal was that they would be given full liberties of producing and distilling the spirit.

They know that the only way to give Yellowstone the best chance of making it big in the business is if it’s brought back within the family. 


  1. The World’s First National Park
  2. History and Society World War II
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