Last Monday (7.11.16) I was fortunate to be involved in the Tweet tasting hosted by The Whisky Wire for Rebel Yell bourbon, based on a a wheated recipe that was made popular by Stitzel-Weller back in the late 1840’s. It is distilled, aged and bottled at Heaven Hills Bernheim Distillery for Luxco spirits company. Who are building a new distillery for the Rebel Yell brand due to open in late 2017. It will be based in Nelson County, Kentucky in the heart of Bardstown the bourbon capital of the world.
We were to try three samples on the night two of bourbon and one rye, we started with the..
Rebel Yell Kentucky straight bourbon 40% abv.
Nose: Honeycomb and vanilla were the first notes to hit me, some fresh straw, subtle star anise comes through after some time with a fresh cinnamon swirl pastry, quite sweet overall..
Palate: Smooth with a soft mint note is the first impressions, then comes some fruit in the form of green apples and gooseberry, there is a sweet spice that carries all the way through the drink with just a hint of vanilla…
Finish: It is short but quite pleasant, no one point dominates..
Second up was the..
Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve 45.3% abv.
Nose: Sweet vanilla, subtle peppermint note, a nice hint of Oak with a soft leather note coming through with it, quite like the previous sample but with a little more oomph…
Palate: Big peppery spice, some unripe fruits bananas and apples maybe, balanced with some vanilla and caramel sweetness , after a little while some char from the barrels starts to appear..
Finish: This is a little longer with a dry spice hint to it..
The last sample of the night was..
Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye 45% abv.
Nose: A herbal floral note appears first for me, then a subtle honey fights through, some candid peels notes are also present with a soft Rye spiciness . .
Palate: Sweet spice with some subtle cloves, a hint of mint and cocoa, apple pie makes an appearance as a aftertaste..
Finish: It’s on short side but pleasant , quite restrained to the end..
This was a very pleasant night of sampling, I’ve not tried Rebel Yell before so was looking forward to comparing them to the rest of my collection of bottles from the US. The Small Batch Reserve was my choice of the night, it was a lovely dram with just the right amount of attitude to make it stand out. The straight bourbon would be something I would recommend to someone who had never tried a bourbon before, it’s smooth and subtle in its flavors so would not over power a first timer. The Rye is one I was hoping to be the stand out dram of the night, while it is a very pleasant drink and would be a great introduction to Rye whisky. It was just too subtle and restrained for me, I like my Rye to be big and bold.
I would like to say thank you to Rebel Yell bourbon for the opportunity to sample there expressions, I would also like to say thank you to Steve at the Whisky Wire for hosting another great night of Tweet Tasting and to everyone else involved .