View Full Version : Roger's Old Yellowstone

09-20-2005, 16:02
Roger kindly gave me a bottle at Gazebo, this is 86 proof, circa late 70's. No age mentioned on the labels.

It is very good and indeed brings back memories of the Yellowstone I bought at the time. Stamped on the glass is the term "Mellow Mash". This later denoted (I believe) a form of Yellowstone older than the regular one, 7 years I think. On that older version, the term Mellow Mash was printed the label, which is not the case with my bottle. Bobby has the formal Mellow Mash and it is very good with a molasses-like undertone.

My bottle is like a cross of Bobby's and what I recall the 70's Yellowstone (regular issue and I think 80 proof) to be like. That Yellowstone was quite fruity and candy-like. The 86 proof which is the subject of this e-mail is similar but with less of the raspberry/strawberry signature I remember.

But it is very good and has a nice balance of age, fruit, char and ethanol. It occupied a quality mid-to-upper shelf position that is rare on the ground these days (i.e., for a "non-premium"). I find it comes into its own with a touch of water. I tasted Roger's late 1960's version on the Gazebo table and my decade-older one is similar.

It is a privilege to go back to the accoutrements of one's youth (would that I could bring all the others back - well Live At Leeds still sounds the same http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif) and again I thank the gentlemanly Roger and charming spouse Maya for permitting me the chance.


10-28-2005, 21:44
Your gracious note was posted while I was still tramping around the barbecue joints of North Carolina and slipped past me.

I happened upon the attached image on ebay at Yellowstone ad (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7170206993&rd=1&sspage name=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1)). I found it funny that at least three marketing buzzwords are trotted out in the copy: sweet mash, sour mash, and mellow mash. These all have real meanings, but did the adwriter really have a clue what they meant?

I find "swank" advertising from the '50s and '60s a perpetual source of amusement.


10-29-2005, 05:17
Roger, thanks. These old ads do evoke a seemingly bygone time, one when style and "sophistication" ruled the roost. Today ads promote more informal styles of living, a legacy of the social revolution of the 1960's. I think Bobby once explained what mellow mash as used by Yellowstone was. I think it was a term they came up with to describe a cleaner distillate resulting from a reflux extension on their column still. This simply put the distillate through more analysis. So it wasn't (apparently) a variation on the mashing procedures of sweet and sour mash bourbon. Ad writers look for tags of this sort, Michter's Original Sour Mash apparently did this when it referred to its whiskey as "pot still". The fruity candy-like flavor of Yellowstone can't be attributed though to a reflux feature of the still, probably it derived from the yeasts used. Think of a fruity beer such as Sierra Nevada or any traditional-tasting top-fermented ale (especially English types). These beers taste of soft fruits due to their ester content, which derives from the higher fermentation temperatures used (higher than for lager beers, which are bottom-fermented). This is why brandy tastes fruity, for example, or applejack or Calvados in France taste appley. So if you had a fruity cereal ferment, one that if made into a beer would taste of strawberry or cherry, it stands to reason the bourbon made from its distillate would have those flavors. This is why many of the older bourbons had a rich taste, in my opinion, I think they had proprietary yeasts which imparted a particular character. This may still be true today but if so the effects imparted rarely have an estery note (occasionally one comes across a fruity bourbon or rye, though).


10-29-2005, 19:01
I think Bobby once explained what mellow mash as used by Yellowstone was. I think it was a term they came up with to describe a cleaner distillate resulting from a reflux extension on their column still.

Oddly today an Obit came up for Robert McLean Nash (http://www.legacy.com/Louisville/LegacySubPage2.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=1552177 5) who was Frank Thompsons' Grandson In Law and a VP of Glenmore. Now I won't do it, because it would offend sensibilities on different levels, but it did cross my mind to go to the visitation to see if I could find an old Glenmore person that could shed light on the "Mellow Mash" process( If that's it) or the angle the marketers were going for.

10-29-2005, 20:36
Maybe I didn't recall corectly, I thought you had printed that note about mellow mash and reflux, Bobby. I'll try to search and pull it up to see who said that.


10-30-2005, 08:32
I did post that, it was from Krolls book, but what he says and what their marketers present seem like 2 different things. By the mention of Sour and Sweet Mash it seems again a process of fermentation and Kroll has it happening squarely at the Still.