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Rebel Yell Bourbon: Revisited

Posted on by Eric Burke

It has been fourteen hundred, sixty-eight days since I last published tasting notes of Rebel Yell Bourbon. It has been seven hundred, seventy days since I proclaimed Rebel Yell one of the five worst American Whiskeys I've had. The first time it appeared on the blog I noted: 

I have no idea what I will do with this bottle, but I certainly won’t be drinking it. My wife has been bugging me to give her bourbon to use in a homemade bug repellant recipe. This might be fine for that. 

The second time I proclaimed it one of the five worst whiskeys I'd tasted and said: 

Eventually I did find a use for it. It became “Prop Bourbon.” When I need to take a photo for a review, but already finished the bottle, I pour my prop bourbon into the empty bottle for the photo. Afterward I dump it back into the Rebel Yell bottle and stick it back in the closet.

Crazy thing happened to that prop whiskey, I tried it in a cocktail. It wasn't bad. I tried it in a couple more. Still not bad. Of course, by this time, it was no longer straight Rebel Yell. Other bad whiskeys having joined it in some sort of unholy infinity bottle. But, it got me to thinking that, since I drink a lot more cocktails now than I did when I posted the original review, it might be time to go back and take another look at this one. Especially since I have liked most of the other expressions that use the name. Heck, they redid the branding, maybe they've gotten their hands on better whiskey to put into the blend as well.

Rebel Yell Bourbon

Purchase Info: $15.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Total Wine, Burnsville, MN.

Details: 40% ABV. Non-age stated. 

Nose: Bran muffin, almond, wintergreen and fleeting hints of melon.

Mouth: Sweet. Almond, pepper, and baking spice.

Finish: On the shorter side of medium. Pretty dry with dried grain notes. 

Thoughts: This is not as bad as I remember. I know, damning with faint praise. But seriously. The bottle I reviewed in 2014 might still be one of the worst I've tasted, but this one does not taste like that. In fact, if it wasn't for the dry, dried grain note finish, this would be an enjoyable sip. As it is, it works well as a mixer when you want to use a sweeter bourbon and don't want to break the bank. I'm upgrading this from dislike to meh and wouldn't fault fans of wheated bourbon (I tend not to be) for liking it more than I do.


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