Posts tagged ‘Rebel Yell’

Rebel Reserve Bourbon Review

Rebel ReserveToday, I am doing a bourbon review that I have wanted to do for a long time.  I remembered it with mixed feelings from my college years, and I finally got around to giving it a whirl again and organizing my thoughts on Rebel Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Rebel Reserve is the big sibling to Rebel Yell, and it is (like Rebel Yell) distilled at Heaven Hill for the Luxco brand.  Also like Rebel Yell, Rebel Reserve is a true wheated mash bill, filling in wheat instead of rye in the grain recipe.  There is no age statement on Rebel Reserve, but I suspect it is about 6 years old, about 2 years older than Rebel Yell.  Rebel Reserve is also bottled at 90.6 proof (45.3% abv), compared to Rebel Yell’s 80 proof.

On the nose, Rebel Reserve is very reminiscent of a younger wheated bourbon.  There are notes of dense caramel, black cherries, and brown sugar.  However, the nose also has that off-putting cherry aroma that can be a part of Evan Williams’ products from time to time.  The palate is very one-tricked with a lot of caramel and sweet corn syrup coming through, with very little complexity.  As the whiskey goes into the medium-long, very sweet finish, those weird cherry notes come up again for me, but more sour this time, as if those cherries have gone rotten.

On the whole, I am not a big fan of Rebel Reserve.  If you read the blog a lot, you probably know that wheated bourbons tend not to be favorite bourbons unless they have a lot of age under their belt.  Rebel Reserve reminds me a lot of Larceny and Maker’s Mark, two other wheated bourbons that I have reviewed and found lacking as well.  That said, if Larceny and Maker’s Mark are bourbons that you enjoy, I think you will really enjoy Rebel Reserve, and it definitely sits at a price point that makes the buy a worthwhile experimental purchase.  Were it my money, I would go for Old Weller Antique for a wheated bourbon under $25.  Since it’s your money, don’t be afraid to give Rebel Reserve a try, especially if you enjoy other young wheated bourbons.  My grade: C-.  Price: $20-25/750ml.  At the price point, Rebel Reserve is a fine deal, and it won’t break the bank if you decide that you don’t care for it.

Most importantly, drink your bourbon responsibly, and let it ride!

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Rebel Yell Bourbon Review

Today I am reviewing Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, one of the original wheated bourbons.  When most people think of an easy-drinking (smooth) bourbon, Rebel Yell comes to mind.  Like many wheated bourbons, Rebel Yell can trace its roots to the old Stitzel-Weller distillery.  Nowadays, Rebel Yell is distilled and aged at Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky (even though the bottle claims it is distilled and aged by the fictitious “Rebel Yell Distillery”).  The whiskey is then bottled by Luxco, a beverage supplier that provides Ezra Brooks and Rebel Reserve.  Rebel Yell is bottled at 80 proof (40% abv) with no age statement.

In the glass, Rebel Yell is a beautiful pale gold color.  The nose is very light and sweet, offering baked apples, honey, and vanilla.  The palate is light, with ripe gala apples, honey, some caramel, and vanilla.  The sweetness is delicious.  The finish is rather short, with only some apples and honey hanging on.

Overall, Rebel Yell is a peculiar whiskey for me.  It is not complex at all, but it is downright delicious.  I love the way it tastes and smells, but it does not last for that long, and there is not much complexity to it.  It is sweet all the way through, so if you like that flavor profile, you might enjoy Rebel Yell.  Honestly, there are times when I am drinking Rebel Yell that I think I am drinking an Irish whiskey; it borders on that type of light, ripe fruitiness.  As such, this might be an easy bourbon to get a non-whiskey drinker interested in whiskey.  My grade: C.  Price: $15-20/750ml.  At the price point, I think Rebel Yell is hard to beat for an everyday pour, but it is far from the best that the world of wheated bourbons has to offer.

(What’s in) Phil’s Cabinet? March Edition

This is my cabinet as of March 1st, normally when I start to move towards more spring and summer whiskeys, but the seasons are so messed up in Boston that it is pretty hard to actually do anything concrete with them.

American:

Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey – A young, exciting whiskey from Bully Boy Distillers in Boston.

Bourbon:

1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select – I cracked this one open the other day.  I know I’ve had a few requests for this one, and I’ll be reviewing it in a few weeks.

Angel’s Envy (unopened) – I’m saving this one for warmer temperatures.

Rebel Yell (unopened) – I’ve had some requests for this one, so I snagged a bottle the other day.  I’ll have a review up as soon as I kick a few of the other open bottles presently in my cabinet.

William Larue Weller (2012 bottling) – I opened this one up during Nemo the blizzard, and I haven’t decided whether or not to review this one yet.  At $70, it is right on the upper end of my price range for whiskey.  Any thoughts?

Rye:

Old Overholt Rye (unopened) – This is another one I have had some requests for, and although I have a bottle, it might be a month or two before a review goes up.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac (2012 bottling) (unopened) – This one will probably get opened up before it gets too warm in Boston.  Like the Weller, let me know if you want to see a review on the blog.

Willett 4 yr. Estate Reserve Single Barrel – This one is going to be a tandem review with William from a Dram Good Time.  We should have our notes up for you by the end of next week.

Scotch:

Bowmore Legend – I should have a review of this Islay scotch up as soon as I finish my mini-series on Irish whiskey.

Those are the whiskeys I have in the cabinet as of March 1st, let me know if there are any reviews you would like to see.  In the meantime, let it ride!