Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rebel Reserve: The Bourbon that The Coopered Tot was looking for?

The Coopered Tot did a lovely post on the Stizel-Weller Rebel Yell and the modern version currently released by Luxco. His comparison bottle was a 40%ABV 4 year old wheated bourbon. However, I have available to me the Rebel Reserve and it appears to be an older higher proof version of the 80 proof Rebel. 

Rebel Reserve is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey it is bottled at 45.3%ABV and has no age statement on it. However, the bottle that I was able acquire from my control state liquor has markings on it that may indicate that the bourbon inside is 6 years old. The label says that it was Distilled and Bottled by the Rebel Yell Distillery Louisville, Kentucky but we all know this is a fictitious non-existent distillery. It’s a wheated bourbon apparently sources from the same stocks as Rebel Yell. 

A date stamp on the bottle shows a 14 (bottling date?) and 2008 (Barreling date?) on it. This would make the Bourbon inside comparable to the old Stizel-Weller bottle that he tasted and reviewed. But even so it’s no contest.

Rebel Reserve-new label 90.6 (45.3%abv.) NAS, but markings on bottle could disclose that it is 6 years old (plus labeling requirements) Distilled and Bottled by the Rebel Yell Distillery Louisville, Kentucky.

Nose: Vanilla, sweet cooked sugar, oak, and tobacco. None of the solvent and glue chemical notes that The Coopered Tot got. However, there is a smell of wet granite.

Palate: The entry is smooth and easy the first notes are all sweet corn syrup and vanilla. Turns slightly tannic toward the middle but never goes real oaky on you. The middle is citrus pithy and some baking spices leaning towards clove. It is not a huge flavorful bourbon but it has something’s going on. Never bitter of overly tannic but sweet with a short finish. The month is left coated with corn sweetness and it never goes hot on you despite the higher ABV.

Impression: Its not a complicated bourbon but it’s a pleasant sipper and for $19.99 for 750ml its money well spent. It certainly seems like a better purchase than its younger and lower proofed sibling but it can’t hold a candle to the old Stizel-Weller Rebel Yell. So I say, if your in a pinch its an unsophisticated but pleasant sipper so share. Go get some.

The WhiskeySeeker