Rebel Yell bourbon has been around since the mid-twenieth century. The brand that was once distilled at the famed Stitzel-Weller distillery has long since been owned by Luxco. For a long time it was relegated to the bottom shelves of liquor stores. Luxco is rebranding the line and are pushing to move it to a more premium level. Recently, they’ve expanded the Rebel Yell line to include a Rye whiskey and American whiskey. Today, we’re looking at the former. According to the label, this rye whiskey is distilled in Indiana at MGP and aged 24 months. Luxco is a non-distiller producer (NDP), and they make no bones about it.
On the nose, the young age shows itself. The rye grain aroma is dominant, followed by some light caramel and vanilla. Bottled at 90 proof, Rebel Yell Rye surprisingly lacks a big bite. It comes in rather smooth and sweet. The sharp rye note I get in other MGP rye whiskies like Bulleit Rye or Dickel Rye is toned down here. Light caramel and a small hint of dill follow. Then, unexpectedly the caramel becomes much sweeter and much more pronounced, almost candy-like. That sweet note carries over into a medium finish.
Not bad for such a young rye. It lacks the bite of new make, but carries its flavors well. I wish it wasn’t so sweet going into the finish. This whiskey is not terribly complex. But… all in all, not bad, especially for the price. A bottle should cost you around $25.