Wednesday, December 23, 2009

History Of Yellowstone, Part One Of Two.

This is a short history of the Yellowstone bourbon brand and the distilleries that have borne that name. Part two tomorrow.

The Yellowstone whiskey brand was created by the wholesale firm of Taylor & Williams shortly after the national park was established in 1872. Taylor was D. H. Taylor, who started the firm in Louisville about 1865. J. T. Williams joined the company in 1877. They were wholesalers and bought whiskey from various distilleries.

Sometime in the 1880s they contracted with J. B. Dant to make Yellowstone bourbon for them. Dant had a (then) new distillery in Nelson County, Kentucky, at Gethsemane Station. It was called Cold Springs Distillery. In about 1903, Taylor & Williams merged with the Cold Springs Distillery. Dant became president and the distillery was renamed Yellowstone, as that brand had become very successful.

Taylor and Williams themselves were out of the picture by then, but their names lived on.

In 1910, Dant acquired an adjacent distillery owned by M. C. Beam, which was itself a combination of two older distilleries, the oldest dating to 1872. Thereafter the whole complex operated as Yellowstone, and was run by members of the Dant and Beam families, until Prohibition.

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