I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Common Ground PR for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.
I am sorry about last week; freelance work has been crazy busy. Which is a great problem to have. Let me tell you I am not complaining. But it did leave me with little time to taste and write about bourbon. However, the extra passage of time did allow something to happen that makes this article just a little more fun.
At the beginning of May, I received a press release announcing the release of the 2017 batch of Rebel Yell Single Barrel, 10-Year-Old Bourbon. Though I had tasted it at an event, I never reviewed last year's batch (and never saw it at retail), so I checked on the availability of samples. Unfortunately, they said that there weren't going to be any review samples this year. Not a problem, I just determined to keep my eyes open for a bottle at the store.
A little while later, a friend of mine texted me from the liquor store that he was picking up a bottle of Rebel Yell Single Barrel. So I asked him to grab me a bottle too. He did, and so I knew I'd have one to review. Except that since we are both busy people, we didn't catch up with each other until this past weekend.
Which is what makes this one fun. See in between my friend grabbing a bottle for me and me getting it; I received a sample of this bourbon as well. And what this allowed me to do was compare barrels of this single-barrel product just to see how big of a difference there is between barrels. I will be comparing barrel number 5043515, provided by Common Ground PR with barrel number 5043517 that I purchased locally.
Rebel Yell Single Barrel, 10-Year-Old Bourbon
Purchase Info: Barrel# 5043517: $45.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Total Wine.
Barrel# 5043515: 50 mL sample generously provided by Common Ground PR.
Details: 50% ABV. Age stated 10-years old. Aged since May 2006.
Nose: Barrel# 5043517: Caramel, cherry, mint, and oak.
Barrel# 5043515: Less cherry and more oak.
Mouth: Barrel# 5043517: Sweet with notes of rich leather, caramel, baking spice, and oak.
Barrel# 5043515: Much spicier with a drier oak feel.
Finish: Barrel# 5043517: Long and warm with lingering sweetness and spice.
Barrel# 5043515: Long and spicy.
Thoughts: Both of these are fantastic bourbons. They are similar, as you might expect, though the sample was noticeably spicier and not as sweet.
I like comparing single barrel bourbons. It's fun to experience the variations on a theme. Sometimes, there's little difference. They are so similar that you wonder just how single that barrel was. Rebel Yell Single Barrel does not have that issue. Both are distinct and delicious in their own way. I am really impressed. And even at $50, I think this is worth the money should you have it to spare. For me, this is on the line between really, really like and love. But because I think the price point is just about perfect, I'll just go with I love it.
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