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.


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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!

Yellowstone Select Bourbon

I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. I’d like to thank Common Ground PR for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.

I recently received a press released about the fact that Yellowstone Select was going through a bit of a label refresh. It was going to be lighter in color and easier to read. As a designer myself, I thought this was a fine idea as the original label didn’t have quite enough contrast for me. It had kind of a gold on tan thing going on that I always though ended up a little muddy looking. So I thought the label refresh sounded like a fine idea.

And ordinarily that would have been the end of the story. I’m not really in the business of passing along press releases. However this one reminded me that, although I’ve reviewed a good number of their limited editions, I’d never taken a look at their flagship offering. So I asked for a sample and here we are.

Yellowstone Select Bourbon

Purchase Info: This sample was graciously provided to me by Common Ground PR for review purposes. Locally the product sells for roughly $40 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 46.5% ABV.

Nose: Spearmint, dried grasses, baking spice, caramel, and hints of both oak and cherries.

Mouth: Nice spice with sweet caramel hit you first, followed by spearmint, peanut, dried grains and a light oakiness.

Finish: Warm and of medium length. Lingering caramel, peanut, baking spice and oak.

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Thoughts: There are bourbons out there that insist on your full attention. They demand to be sipped in quiet contemplation and with great reverence.

Yellowstone Select is not one of those bourbons. This is a great bourbon to sip on as a nightcap as you converse with friends or while watching a good movie while snuggled on the sofa with a loved one. It is sweet without being overly so. It has spice but isn’t hot. It balances grain and barrel flavors wonderfully. It is delicious but doesn’t demand your full attention. It’ll be happy with (and deserves) the occasional appreciative glance. This is a delicious “everyday” bourbon. I like it.


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

Old Ezra Barrel Strength, 7-year-old bourbon

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 the folks at Common Ground PR for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. As always, all thoughts are just my opinion.

I fear I might have made a grievous error. Last week I wrote a post that ended up with my wife getting a little miffed at me. My mistake was not in writing or in even posting said article. She is my proofreader, after all, and she agreed it was an apt description of the whiskey in question. No, my mistake was in telling...basically anyone that would listen...the story of how I got her to let me put that story on the internet. Which naturally included a repeat of the story itself.

In what I am assured is an entirely unrelated set of circumstances, my HoneyDo list for the weekend grew immensely. For example: the leaves needed to be raked and bagged, the lawn needed to be mowed, the floors needed to be scrubbed, the bathroom tub needed to be recaulked, the shower needed to have the grout cleaned and the tiles resealed, a bit of broken trim needed to be fixed, the carpet needed to be shampooed, the gutters cleaned, the siding washed, the walls, pictures and surfaces dusted...

You get the idea.

But now after a long weekend where the chores lasted from the time I got up in the morning to the time I went to bed at night, my penance has been paid...I mean, all those things that "just happened to need finishing" are done. I can finally sit down, relax and think about a whiskey.

And a decent whiskey at that. Recently, I received a sample of Old Ezra Barrel Strength, 7-year-old bourbon. You might be familiar with Old Ezra 101 proof, 7-year-old bourbon. Well as you might expect, this is a barrel proof version of that.

Old Ezra 101 proof has long been a favorite in my house. Even as the price was gradually increasing in my area, I still found it to be an excellent value. That was until I could no longer find it at all. I'd noticed it slowly disappearing from local store shelves. And at some point, it clicked that no one had it anymore.

Once I received this sample, I asked them if the Barrel Strength was a replacement for the 101 proof. Their answer: "We stopped producing Old Ezra 101 last summer and have been selling through the remaining bottles before releasing the new package this fall with the new bottle and barrel proof."

So I wasn't crazy. 101 was gone. I got sad momentarily, but then I remembered that the barrel proof version exists and that 117 proof is higher than 101 proof. After that all was right with the world.

Old Ezra Barrel Strength, 7-year-old bourbon

Purchase Info: This sample was generously provided for review purposes. Suggested retail is $39.99 per 750 mL bottle.

Details: 58.5% ABV. Age stated at 7 years old.

Nose: Oak, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar

Mouth: Nice and warm with vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and an oak sharpness.

Finish: Long and very warm. Lingering notes of oak and baking spice.

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Thoughts: This is delicious. The proof bump does really well for this whiskey, allowing more concentrated flavors to come through. It’s a very nice step up from the previous 101 proof version. Unfortunately, the price has also taken a nice step up. But when I compare this to other barrel proof bourbons, I think price is more than fair.

In an era where other companies are removing age statements from products or discontinuing those age stated products altogether, it’s nice to see a company relaunch a product with both a proof bump while also keeping the age statement. And keeping it prominently displayed across the bottle at that.

Overall, there should be no reason to not have this be the barrel proof bourbon you keep on your home bar. Inexpensive enough to use in cocktails. Rich and complex enough to drink on its own.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, please visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!