Where to start with Rebel Yell? How about with this picture from their website:
…or this one:
You have to give Rebel Yell credit for avoiding the usual bourbon stereotypes of old men with their heirloom recipes and magic touch. Instead they’ve gone with a different motif, but stereotypical no less: the romanticized (Southern) Male Outcast figure. The Rebel Yell website is festooned with these tropes and often ends up focusing on this ‘rebel’ image more than the whiskey itself.
As for the whiskey itself – it’s a wheated bourbon that traces its roots to the WL Weller family in 1849 – though the name has only been around since 1949.
– 80 proof
– Made by Luxco at the Bernheim Distillery
Compared to the website, the Rebel Yell bottle is pretty restrained. Instead of steely glares from unshaven men, we have old-timey lettering, Confederate iconography, and the tiny image of a horse and its Confederate general rider.
The back label text begins with hilarious attempted-masculinity in the words “Unique. Commanding. Unforgettable.” OK, Rebel Yell, I get it.
Quite a powerful nose on this one: freshly cut grass, marachino, and canvas. Not as much of the harsh liquor scent I as expecting. Tasting is a bit of a different experience. The dominant flavor is mostly salty from start to finish. Really, this is a strong saltiness that sticks around. After a while you can tease out some raisin flavors, but then right back to salty. The finish has some sense of tobacco.
I can’t say that I was disappointed with Rebel Yell This is better than something along the lines of a Cabin Still in that its flavor is pretty intense, but I wouldn’t reach for this on a regular basis.