Rebel Yell was a bourbon brand of the historic Stitzel Weller distillery, and was a wheated bourbon just like Weller, Van Winkle, and Old Fitzgerald. Luxco ended up with the brand, and dropped the “yell” from the brand’s moniker. It is now distilled at Lux Row Distillers in Bardstown, Kentucky. In addition to Rebel, Luxco produces Ezra Brooks and Old Ezra, Daviness County, and Blood Oath. Rebel comes in 80 proof, 100 proof, and a single barrel that is 100 proof and aged ten years. I had my stepson pick up a barrel pick selected by Total Wine for me to try. The Rebel Distiller’s Collection is bottled at what appears to be cask strength, with this particular bottle weighing in at 113 proof. The label notes that it was barrelled on September 18, 2017, so this would be likely bottled at around five years old. This bottle cost $58 at Total Wine in Lafayette.
On the swirl, there is a nice oily thick film and legs. The color is a nice amber that reflects its five year aging. The nose is very complex and assertive, with dark fruits, vanilla, and oak. On the palate, cherry notes dominate the flavor, along with some lovely clove and cinnamon notes. There is a little bit of peanut yeast funk on the palate, but this has lessened since I opened it on Christmas Day. A little air definitely makes a difference with this bourbon. Very nice mouthfeel. On the finish, clove and cherry notes mingle with oak tannin. The finish is nice and long.
I am impressed with Luxco’s wheated bourbon. I will definitely be on the lookout for their 10 year old single barrel, as if this is what this bourbon tastes like at five years at cask strength a ten year old at 100 proof ought to be quite nice. I will be lobbying Hokus Pokus to get some samples and do a barrel pick of this. As far as good wheated bourbon goes, this is on the up and up.