For those of you who think I spend too much time on snooty, high end booze and hard to find dusty bottles, this one's for you: Rebel Yell. And I'm doing it in tandem with two of my most excellent whiskey blogging colleagues, Jason Pyle from Sour Mash Manifesto and Tim Read from Scotch & Ice Cream, so check out their blogs. I should note that when we discussed this joint blogging venture, I advocated that we refrain from Billy Idol references as part of our reviews. Tim and Jason, however, clearly being suckers for the obvious punchline, declined, but in this post, at least, you can be assured that you will see no references to Mr. Idol (well maybe a few).
Formerly a Stitzel-Weller brand, Rebel Yell is now bottled by Luxco out of St. Louis using bourbon from an undisclosed distillery. It's a wheated bourbon so that narrows the field down to three distilleries: Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill and Maker's Mark. Of the three, Heaven Hill is the one most known for selling bulk whiskeys to independent bottlers, so it's a pretty good bet that this is Heaven Hill's wheated bourbon.
Rebel Yell, 40% abv ($10.99)
The nose on this is strong with peanut M&Ms, then lemon. The palate is generically sweet but watery with a bit of the peanut M&M note that was on the nose and a bit of navel orange juice, then it dissipates into a flavorless alcohol, really more like water with something chemical mixed into it. This note goes on to dominate the finish. The palate on this flat and dull with very little substance.
It saddens me that they've turned this Stitzel-Weller brand into a vaguely sweet alcoholic water. Even for the price, there are much better bourbons to be had.
Kiss Me Deadly Rebel Yell, and Luxco, one day we fans of Stitzel-Weller will get our Sweet Revenge. As for me, well, that's the last $11 I'll blow on Rebel Yell.