Rebel Yell 100 proof

I’d like to thank Common Ground PR and Luxco for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

It feels as though every single time I start a review of something in the Rebel Yell line, I trot out my old story about how when I first had the brand, it lost horribly in my first ever Bottom Shelf Brackets. And how through the power of brand revitalization and line extensions, I was convinced to give it another chance and ended up thinking it made a decent cocktail bourbon. It’s all very heartwarming.

Today however, I want to talk about something else. Well actually, someone else. That someone is me…well and you. First: me. “Me” is honestly my favorite subject. There is a reason that instead of rehashing dry details on the production or retyping the back of the bottle or the press release, I try to start each review with a bit of a personal anecdote or a tale of how I came to find the particular bottle that we are discussing. Years ago, I found out that if I wrote a personal blog, literally ones of people would read it. Later I found out that If I wrote almost the same blog and added a whiskey review to the end, then all of a sudden (over the course of 8 years) it would gather an average monthly readership of over 15,000 people.

Which brings me to you. Thank you. Thank you for all the emails, the questions, and the kind words. But most of all, thank you for hanging out with me and listening to me tell stories, be they about myself, dogs or whiskey. So let’s all grab a drink and learn about Rebel Yell 100.

Rebel Yell 100 is a new 100 proof variant of, you guessed it, Rebel Yell. It is the same wheated bourbon as the original Rebel Yell, just with more proof. And boy, what a difference that added proof makes. Where the 80 proof version makes a good cocktail bourbon, this 100 proof version can stand on its own when sipped neat. In fact, I’m having a little right now as I write this.

Rebel Yell 100

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me by Common Ground PR and Luxco for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $19.99 for a 750 mL bottle. This is (or will be soon) available nationally and at the Lux Row Distillery.

Details: Wheated Bourbon, 50% ABV.

Nose: Cinnamon, mint, vanilla, chocolate.

Month: Spicy tingle on the tip of the tongue. Cinnamon red hots, brown sugar, mint, lemon custard

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla pudding.

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Thoughts: I'm very impressed with this one. I've documented my turn around on the Standard Rebel Yell. I went from disliking it to realizing it made a fine cocktail Bourbon. This 100 proof version is a fine cocktail ingredient but it also works great as an everyday sipper. And at a suggested price of $20? This is a no brainer of a pickup. And this is coming from a guy who normally isn’t a wheated bourbon fan. Yep, as soon as I see it on the shelf, it is coming home with me.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!

Updated Statement Of Ethics - 2019 edition

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ethics of my bourbon reviews and myself as a reviewer lately. Specifically the implied “endorsement” I give to specific brands by saying that I love or like a product released under that brand. As Americans we are conditioned from a young age to connect to brands. I remember my first Transformer toy and my first Nintendo. I argued which brand of game console was better between the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis with my friends (a lot of times it came down to whether you liked the “branding elements” that were Mario or Sonic better). And honestly, I’m still that kid on occasion. I describe myself as a "Four Roses Fanboy” in numerous posts on this very site.

With the advent of social networks, marketing and branding have gotten so personal that we feel like we know these #BRANDS as people. We know what politics and policies that brands like Apple and Google stand for. It’s as though these companies are a single person with values and not a collection of people just trying to make a living by selling you something. It gets even worse in the whiskey world (though this is not exclusive to whiskey). Brand Ambassador is an actual title that employees have. People interact with the Ambassadors and feel like they get to know the #BRAND. They feel like they should support the #BRAND because they “know” it, when in reality all they know is the company’s carefully crafted marketing presentation.

This past weekend, I came across a Facebook post by Hollis B Worth (formerly Hollis Bulleit). It was a long and hard read. In the post she made allegations of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her father due to her sexuality. Now, I am going to keep saying “allegations” because I have no idea if these allegations are true, I obviously wasn’t there. Heck, I don’t even know any of the people involved. But I do find them credible. The language she used is the language I used myself when I processed something very similar that happened to me, though nothing quite as serious or prolonged as Hollis is alleging.

I’ve always been a bit, shall we say, effeminate in how I carry my body. Not to say I can’t be as manly as the society of my Northern Wisconsin birthplace needs me to be, but I’ve always had a bit more “flourish” to my personality than your usual Northwoods boy. So much so that when I was a teenager, and long before I knew I was bisexual, my father once threatened to “cut off that little faggot pecker” if I didn’t start to “man-up.” Needless to say, the fact that I happened to fall in love with and marry a woman has made him much happier. I hate to think how he would have reacted if that girl in the KISS shirt who gave me the “come fuck me eyes” the day I fell in love with her had been a guy instead of a girl. I guess I got lucky, no one other than my wife ever needed to know about my sexuality. It literally isn’t visible from the outside. And she only knew because it came up in conversation.

So that is a very long way to say that I take LGBTQIA+ issues very seriously. I take abuse very seriously. And just for good measure let’s just say that I also take racism and xenophobia very seriously as well. One of the downsides to #BRANDS working so hard to connect with their audiences is that when the brand—or one of their spokespeople—do something wrong, it feels even more wrong than it used to. No one used to care if their preferred soda company hated gay people. But today, these aren’t companies, they are #BRANDS. And we’ve been repeatedly asked to #JoinTheConversation and conditioned to connect to them in a very different way than we used to. It’s hard on an emotional level to figure out how they could act in a way that is so unlike how you thought they would. It’s like finding out that your friendly neighbor likes to rape puppies.

In short, I do not want to be associated with homophobic, racist, or xenophobic words, thoughts or behavior. And honestly, I don’t have to. This is my site. I run it for fun, not profit. I’m beholden to no advertisers. If I don’t agree with a brand’s stance on something or the spokesperson does something I find repugnant, I’m not going to cover the brand. As such, I have updated my Statement of Ethics to include this. I’ve included the revised statement below, changes are in bold.


This is document will be kept up to date. Things will be added to as things come up. Edits will be made if circumstances change.

  1. I will not allow a comment that disparages women, men, minority groups, or homosexuals (or anyone else for that matter). I will not allow xenophobic or racist comments on the site.

  2. I will not review or endorse brands where I find that there are credible accusations of homophobia, xenophobia, racism, misogyny, other repugnant behavior, or ideals not in line with my own by the company, its officers, or spokespersons. If accusations come to light after reviews have been published, those reviews may be altered, amended, or removed from the site at my discretion. If alterations or amendments occur, that will be noted at the beginning of the article.

  3. In order to avoid comment spam, I will not approve comments that include a link to a different site or email address.

  4. I do not accept advertising or paid posts/content.

  5. I try to purchase much of what I review, but will accept review samples.

  6. When a review sample is accepted, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article.

  7. Beyond the sample policy above, I do not accept trips, gifts, or other compensation in return for posts or reviews.

  8. When I visit a distillery or whiskey event, I usually pay for my ticket and take the same tours everyone else can. In instances where this not the case, such as a Media Event or a “Sneak Peak,” I will disclose that fact at the beginning of the article. This does not mean I won't set up a private tour/visit if the distillery agrees and it will make a good article.

  9. There are spirits industry people who I consider friends. If I ever review one of their products, I will disclose that fact at the beginning of the article.

  10. Though I try very hard to get my facts straight, errors happen. If I make a factual error in an article, I will happily update it if notified and will make note of the change at the end of the article.

  11. In return for the above, I ask that you respect the license that the reviews/posts/images were released under. I release all works on this site under a creative commons license unless otherwise noted. This means you are basically free to do whatever you want with them provided you do two things: use it for non-commercial purposes and give credit back to the site/leave on the watermark. Commercial uses are anything that make money such as a blog that accepts advertising or a presentation that people pay to attend, etc. If you want to use it for purposes outside the license, just send me an email and we'll work something out. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

If you have any questions, click the contact icons at the bottom of any page to get in touch with me via email or your favorite social medium.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!

Blood Oath Pact No. 5

I’d like to thank Common Ground PR and Luxco for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

Running a little behind due to paid work overloading the schedule this week. (I mean of all the “terrible” problems to have. I’m too busy making money to drink whiskey. Sigh.) So instead of delaying this any longer, we are just going to cut straight to the details and leave out any of the nonsense I usually like to populate my articles with.

Ok, maybe a little nonsense. Am I the only one who likes finished bourbons as a change of pace once in a while? I know some people decry them as “flavored bourbon.” But I don’t even particularly hate the idea of flavored whiskey (I just choose not to drink it). That said, I don’t think of finished bourbons as “flavored bourbons.” Not if they are done correctly. I mean, sure, Angel’s Envy Rye tends to taste more of rum than it does rye. But a good barrel finishing can make a true masterpiece. I’m thinking of the old 2011 Parker’s Heritage Collection Cognac Finished. It was delicious, I loved that one.

So what about Blood Oath Pact No. 5? Before we find out where this particular finished bourbon falls on the “Angel’s Envy Rye” to “Masterpiece” spectrum, here is what the producer has to say about it.

“Pact No. 5 starts with an eight-year-old ryed bourbon rested in used dark Caribbean rum barrels for six months to add a touch of warm island spice. Once this bourbon picked up some of the rum notes, Rempe combined it with an 11-year-old silky wheated bourbon and an extra-aged, peppery 13-year-old rye bourbon.”

Blood Oath Pact No. 5

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me by Common Ground PR and Luxco for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $99.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 49.3% ABV. Finished in Caribbean Rum casks

Nose: Honey, caramel, cinnamon, and a hint of mint.

Mouth: Spicy and sweet with cinnamon, clove, honey, mint, caramel

Finish: Medium length and warm. Lingering sweetness and cinnamon red hots.

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Thoughts: This is quite tasty. I'm enjoying the combination of sweet and spicy. This doesn't have the same level of rum cask influence as, say, Angel's Envy Rye. And boy do I ever think that is a good thing. With Angel's Envy, the rye is overpowered by the rum. And if I wanted rum, I’d just drink rum. Here the rum seems to accent the bourbon flavors instead of dominating them. And that is what I like in a finished bourbon. I like it to be bourbon with an accent of a complementary finishing flavor. If I had the cash on hand, I'd totally treat myself to a bottle of this.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!

Father's Day Gift Ideas from the Readers of BourbonGuy.com

A couple weeks ago, I gave away a pair of socks to a lucky reader. But, being the sneaky devil that I am, I required them to answer a question for me in order to enter. In this case, I asked them what "gift-worthy" relatively available bourbon they would give to someone for Father's Day.

That’s right, I got the readers to do my work for me. And as I had hoped, I found the information interesting and I think you might too.

10 “Gift-Worthy” Bourbons as Chosen by the Readers

1. Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond 10-year old.

This beloved darling of a whiskey was the most submitted bourbon by the readers. And with good reason. This is an affordable bourbon that comes with a 10 year age statement. That combination is a rarity these days. Of course since this just won multiple awards at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including “Best in Show Whiskey” I don’t know that I would expect to see this sitting on the shelf anytime soon. But if you do, grab a bottle. It really is quite good. Spicy, rich and complex. And if you see two, maybe grab one for a gift too.

2. Colonel E. H. Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon

One of two suggestions coming from the EH Taylor portfolio, Single Barrel is just what it sounds like. A Single Barrel, Bottled in Bond Bourbon. Clocking in at 100 proof, this one should be high enough proof for the experienced drinker but not proofed so high that it scares away the novice. I haven’t had this one personally but the distillery says this: “The aroma carries lightly toasted oak, with dried figs and butterscotch. One sip brings flavors of sweetness balanced with tobacco and dark spices. The finish is just long enough to prepare the palette for another sip. The bottle itself is a likeness to Colonel Taylor's original design used over a century ago.”

3. Four Roses Single Barrel

This is one of my favorite bourbons and my favorite in the Four Roses line-up. In my mind when I think of “bourbon flavor” I’m thinking of Four Roses Single Barrel. Of course, I am an admitted Four Roses Fanboy so take all of this with a grain of salt. In fact, the last time I wrote about it I had a very short review of it: “This is a fantastic bourbon. If you haven't had it yet, you should. If you buy it and you don't love it, I'll be happy to drink it for you if you send it to me.” And as a gift, not only does it come in a lovely bottle but if your local store has private selections, you can get something unique as well.

4. Blanton’s Single Barrel

This is one of five entries on the list that is made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. This particular entry will be a bit hard to find most of the time. Though it isn’t impossible depending on where you live. Introduced way back in 1984, Blanton’s was the original Single Barrel and helped kick off the Bourbon Renaissance we are living through today. Internationally, there are multiple labels in the Blanton’s portfolio, including a Barrel Proof version that is to die for. Here in the US, we only get this one. But don’t be too sad, it is a hell of a bourbon and any person would be happy to receive it as a gift…if you don’t decide to keep it for yourself.

5. Booker’s Bourbon

This is one that you will not want to give to everyone on your list. Regularly clocking in at well over 120° proof, this is not for the bourbon novice. If your recipient is an experienced bourbon lover though, you cannot go wrong with Bookers. Sweet, thick, chewy and delicious, I am never disappointed with a bottle of Booker’s. Makes me wish I had a bottle right now.

6. Colonel E. H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon

The second of two suggestions coming from the EH Taylor portfolio, Small Batch is also a bonded bourbon. I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but I haven’t had this one either. Not sure how the entire E.H. Taylor line escaped my attention, but I should probably remedy that soon. In any case the distillery says this: “Tastes of caramel corn sweetness, mingled with butterscotch and licorice. The aftertaste is a soft mouth-feel that turns into subtle spices of pepper and tobacco.”

7. Eagle Rare Bourbon

I’ve had this bourbon on my shelf numerous times over the course of my bourbon journey and I’m going to tell you something. I’ve never noticed that the top of the E in the logo was an eagle head until right now. As a graphic designer for almost two decades, that bothers me more than it should. But maybe I can be excused, I mean most of the time I’m looking at this bottle, I’m focused on what is inside it, not on the label. This ten year old bourbon from the Buffalo Trace company clocks in at a respectable 90° proof and is probably my favorite bourbon from the distillery that is available here in the States.

8. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

This is the bourbon that I give as a gift most often. It is mellow and smooth, comes in a pretty bottle and tastes delicious. It is a great gift for the bourbon novice and is tasty enough for the bourbon expert. In fact, for a long while it was my go to from the Four Roses lineup before finally being overtaken by Single Barrel in the last few years.

9. Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon

Small Batch Select is the most recent release from Four Roses Bourbon, and the one in my glass as I wrote this. I got mine on my last trip to Kentucky since unfortunately it isn’t available nationwide yet. Non-chill filtered and clocking in at a hefty 104° proof, this is a bourbon to give to the experienced bourbon drinker. Being a mix of OBSV, OESV, OBSK, OESK, OBSF, and OESF recipes, this bourbon caters to the floral side of the Four Roses flavor profile without skimping on the spiciness. If you live in an area where this is for sale, it’s a no brainer as a gift for a whiskey lover that lives in the rest of the country.

10. Stagg Jr. Bourbon

This final entry on the list is another barrel proof, unfiltered bourbon. This time from Buffalo Trace. Named similarly to George T. Stagg of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Junior is a bit younger than the 15+ years of its older brother. Stagg Jr. doesn’t carry an age statement but is assumed to be in the 6-10 year old range. And as one of the readers who suggested it said: “Separates the men from the boys.” I’m assuming he means the women from the girls as well. But the sentiment is correct, this is a burner.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!