Admittedly, Rebel Yell is not typically a bottle you would find in my bourbon cabinet. Nothing against the brand or its parent company, Luxco (whose products can regularly be found in my cabinet), but I just have never made an effort to sample the various products produced under this brand name. This is probably due, in part, to the fact that I usually see their flavored whiskeys sitting on the shelf and that is usually a deterrent for me. However, earlier this year I noticed a single bottle of this bourbon sitting on the shelf at Market Square Liquors and I almost never pass on an opportunity to taste a single barrel bourbon with a 10-year age statement.
The mashbill for this bourbon consists of wheat, corn and malted barley. Although Luxco is now producing this bourbon at their new distillery just outside of Bardstown, Kentucky, the bourbon in this bottle was sourced from Heaven Hill, and is likely a product of their wheated mashbill, which consists of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley. I can definitely see some similarities in this bourbon to Heaven Hill’s other wheated bourbons, particularly the Old Fitzgerald.
This bourbon came from barrel #5083245 and was put into the barrel on September 2006. It comes in at 100 proof (50% abv). I found this bottle at Market Square Liquors in Tallahassee for $60.
Appearance – dark, golden honey.
Nose – light alcohol is present, along with caramel, baking spice, charred oak, and layers of roasted peanut. More orange peel and spice continued to develop over time. Not a terribly strong nose, but pleasant nonetheless.
Palate – this wheated bourbon initially presents with the expected sweetness of caramel, vanilla, and honey, but the spice develops quickly resulting in a well-balanced profile. There is a fairly complex bouquet of spice, including primarily cinnamon and nutmeg, and the notes of roasted peanuts also transition from the nose. The spice ushers in additional notes of leather and light citrus.
Finish – the finish is relatively long and leaves a decent mouthfeel. The spice continues to develop throughout the sip, with cinnamon front and center, along with charred oak and a slight bitterness. As the spice starts to fade the sweetness of golden raisins remains, along with vanilla bean and very light citrus notes.
Overall – this was a very enjoyable bourbon. The flavor profile wasn’t terribly complex but the flavors were pleasant and blended together nicely. More than anything, I appreciated the deep notes of roasted peanuts on the nose that transitioned onto the palate, resulting in a sweet and spicy mouthfeel. I am not sure I agree with the $60 price tag on this bottle, but it is definitely worth a try if you are in the mood for a very easy-drinking 100 proof bourbon.