rebel yell

Rebel Yell Single Barrel (2017) Bourbon Review

Photo courtesy of Luxco.

The second release of Rebel Yell Single Barrel is already on shelves.  It launched in 2016 and quickly became one of my favorite bourbons released that year.  A 10-year-old, 100 proof wheated bourbon for about $60- seriously, what’s not to like?

As I just mentioned, Rebel Yell Single Barrel is a wheated bourbon.  That means the producers use wheat as the secondary grain instead of the more traditional rye.  Speaking of producers… though Luxco is currently building a distillery in Bardstown, they are still sourcing their whiskey from other producers.  In the case of most of Luxco’s whiskies, that source would most likely be Heaven Hill.

My review sample is from barrel 504315, which was filled in May 2006.  I said it before and I’ll say it again: kudos to parent company Luxco for adding this information to the label.

I’m happy to report the quality of last year’s release remains.  Big aromas of grilled sweet corn, caramelized sugar and vanilla fill the glass.  Slight hints of cinnamon and fresh brioche follow.  On the palate, classic bourbon notes are showcased – vanilla cream, cornbread, and cinnamon. A touch of leather and oak tannins lightly coat the tongue in the back palate.  The finish is long and somewhat sweet, with notes of spiced corn and caramel.

I enjoy bourbons of many walks of life.  Lately I’ve come to consider 8 to 12 years to be my sweet spot in terms of a bourbon’s age.  Heaven Hill’s 10-year-old Parker’s Heritage Collection from a couple of years back is pretty much a flawless bourbon for my tastes.  Barrel Bourbon Batch 005 was aged for eight years and still lingers in my memory.  Rebel Yell Single Barrel, though a different mash bill, hits on all cylinders.  It is extremely well-balanced and delivers a wonderful display of flavors.  8.5/10

Thanks to Luxco for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rebel Yell 10-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Earlier this year I was invited to a Luxco event in St. Louis.  At some point I was offered a pour of Rebel Yell Single Barrel.  It’s been a few years since I’ve tried it, but I’m not the biggest fan of the standard Rebel Yell.  I remember it being a bit one dimensional.  (I have a bottle and will give it a fresh tasting soon.) Presented with this opportunity I thought, “what the hell.”  The whiskey instantly struck a chord with me.  I liked it.  I REALLY liked it.

Rebel Yell Single Barrel is aged 10 years and is bottled at 100 proof.  That’s a long way from the standard bottling.  As far as I know, it still shares the same wheated mashbill and is most likely sourced from Heaven Hill.  Luxco states there will be about 2000 cases of Rebel Yell Single Barrel in 2016, and double that next year.  My sample is from barrel # 4744359.

The presentation also sees an upgrade over the standard Rebel Yell bottling.  This one comes in a nice cardstock box.  The bottle itself stands tall, with a thick glass base.  I like that the barrel number is handwritten.  I’m a sucker for handwritten labels.  Onto the whiskey…

The nose is vibrant (but not young) with aromas of vanilla pudding, honey butter biscuits, light toffee, and sweet corn, with a feint floral note buried beneath.  Kettle corn hits the palate first, followed closely by vanilla bean and carmelized brown sugar.  Wood spice begins to pick up on the mid palate, providing a touch of cinnamon and clove.  The finish starts sweet, but soon transitions to slightly-astringent, thanks to the oak tannins.  This is a really easy-drinking bourbon with character.

Why is this so much better than the standard Rebel Yell?  I think the answer is simple: age and proof.  The standard bottling is at least two years old and 80 proof.  This single barrel offering is 10 years old and 100 proof.  Luxco has a hit on their hands with this one, so long as there are consistently good quality barrels in their inventory.  Rebel Yell 10 year single barrel is priced right too, coming in at about $50 a bottle.  Make no mistake – this is no bottle shelf whiskey.  I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  I think Rebel Yell Single Barrel is the best whiskey Luxco currently has on the market.


Thanks to Luxco for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.