We Lived Every Concrete Cowboy’s Dream With Yellowstone Bourbon
Image Credit: Supplied
— 30 May 2024

We Lived Every Concrete Cowboy’s Dream With Yellowstone Bourbon

— 30 May 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

The more you’re forced to endure the urban grind, the sooner you realise that life should really only be about three things:

  1. A virtually unspoiled parcel of land where the air’s fresh and the skies are clear.
  2. A few creatures — be they horse, dog, cattle, or all of the above — roam freely in your slice of paradise.
  3. And premium bourbon by a crackling fireplace when the mercury dips.

Thanks to the folks over at Yellowstone Bourbon, got a taste of this bucolic utopia (and so much more).

Sun Ranch x Yellowstone Bourbon
Credit: Kate Holmes

Shortly after an hour-long hop from Sydney to Ballina Airport, we arrived at SUN RANCH — a deliciously retro, Californian-inspired retreat that can only be described as John Dutton‘s estate meets Slim Aarons, nestled at the very heart of the Byron Bay hinterland.

Once the welcome drinks and handshake introductions were out of the way, I checked into the property’s premier suite playfully dubbed ‘Boots & All.’

RELATED: In 2011, ‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Was Down To His Last $800 — Now He’s Worth Over $200 Million

Vintage sound system, fireplace, a bedroom overlooking the lush surrounds, delightfully luxe finishes in the bathroom… I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t here to just gawk at the rustic chic interior design.

There was serious concrete cowboy business at hand.

So with that, I donned my newly gifted Akubra and Carhartt vest — both also courtesy of Yellowstone Bourbon along with a monogrammed hip flask — and saddled up for a trail ride on an independent-minded stallion (read: hooved prick) named Rocco.

Credit: Kate Holmes

Taking in the scenery on horseback actually made for thirsty work. This is why once our horses were tied back up to their posts, we ambled indoors to get acquainted with the award-winning liquid gold produced by our gracious Kentucky-born hosts.

Yellowstone Bourbon was established in 1872 by the J.B. Dant Distillery. Thanks to some well-timed medicinal licensing during the Roaring 20s, the “greatest American whiskey” has endured everything from prohibition to the turn of the new millennium.

Ownership changed hands more than a few times over the last 150-plus years. But in 2015, this would come full circle when Stephen Beam — whose lineage traces back to J.W. Dant himself; not just the legendary Beam dynasty — revived the historic Yellowstone formula at his Limestone Branch Distillery.

Sun Ranch x Yellowstone Bourbon
Credit: Kate Holmes

The result? Yellowstone Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (93 Proof / 46.5% ABV).

Similar to its namesake — one of the world’s first national parks; and a philanthropic beneficiary of the brand — as Luxco Managing Director Greg Mefford explained, this blend of four and seven-year-old bourbons embodies all that’s great about the Land of the Free/Home of the Brave: heritage, perseverance in defiance of modernity, grassroots know-how passed on for generations (seven, to be precise).

For their reverence towards the grand American tradition of distilling fine bourbon, and an undying devotion to the craft, Yellowstone Select has been rewarded with an embarrassment of riches…

  • Gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • Gold at the 2023 Ascot Awards
  • Gold at the 2023 Sip Awards
  • Double Gold at the 2023 Bartender Spirits Awards
  • Double Gold at the 2024 Sip Awards
Sun Ranch x Yellowstone Bourbon
Credit: Kate Holmes

The afternoon history lesson was punctuated with a charcuterie board and a stripped-back, campsite variation of the Hot Toddy featuring Yellowstone Select (repeated several times for “scientific purposes”) before the dinner degustation where, admittedly, our collective memory became something of a blur.

The drinks flowed, the conversation rolled deep into the evening, and somewhere along the way, there was a dismal attempt to start a fireplace back at the ‘Boots & All’ suite.

RELATED: We Spent One Night At The Most Exclusive Chateau In Champagne

Feelin’ a bit Pete Muarry the following morning had always been priced in, and to combat our budding hangovers, SUN RANCH offered an early morning yoga session, along with cold plunge + sauna facilities, and a pool club that has to be seen to be believed.

But throughout what would’ve otherwise been considered a pinch-me start to a working Wednesday, my mind was elsewhere.

Cesare Pavese once said, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” And up until we boarded our flight back to Sydney, all I could think about was that first glass of Yellowstone Select, lively and robust, while somebody waxed poetic about mash bills in the background, right as that countryside sun acquiesced to the evening sky.

Credit: Kate Holmes

The author stayed at SUN RANCH as a guest of Yellowstone Bourbon via Candid Communications. To experience a fraction of what he enjoyed, hit the link below.

Also read:

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


Share the article