Last Updated on August 22, 2023 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?
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?
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 Bourbon was named after the Yellowstone National Park , 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
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 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.
By 1944, when the entire country was still reeling from the aftermath of the Second World War , 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
How much does a bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon cost?
A 750ml bottle of Yellowstone Bourbon costs around $45, according to alcohol e-commerce store Drizly.
What does Yellowstone bourbon taste like?
Yellowstone Bourbon has a sweet profile, rife with peaches, light caramel, and vanilla notes. There is also an oaky undertone and some leather to balance the sweetness.
How long is Yellowstone bourbon aged?
Yellowstone Bourbon is made with a handpicked blend of four and seven-year-old bourbons.
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.