Tag Archives: Rebel Yell

Rebel Yell Single Barrel

Rebel Yell Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Aged Ten Years since 9/2015, Barrel #4744359

50% ABV
What the Bottler Says:
Handcrafted according to our original, time-honored recipe since 1849, Rebel Yell Single Barrel is aged a full ten years to provide a rich and rebellious flavor. The single-barrel process creates a flavor profile unique to each bottle. The end result is an extra smooth-sipping whiskey that honors the rebel in all of us.

Tasting Notes: Initial traces of caramel and citrus, wiht a velvety smooth finish and just a hint of spice.
Ingredients: Wheat, corn, malt.
Nose: Vanilla, dark fruits, citrus and oak.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Mild oak, caramel, peach cobbler, subtle spice (nutmeg and hints of anise), rice pudding and buttered popcorn.
Palate: Sharp with pepper spice, caramel drizzled pumpkin pie with hints of smoke and oak.
Finish: Moderately long and a bit sharp.
Comments: If I had tried this blind, I would not have guessed this was a wheater (wheated mashbill bourbon). This has more bite and a sharp edge more reminiscent of a rye bourbon. Good for me, since I tend to prefer rye over wheaters! This is a delicious bourbon, with a lot of sweet spice going on, but balanced well with the oak. I’m really glad that they didn’t bring this out at the 80 proof that standard Rebel Yell is bottled at. I will caution that if you’re a big wheater fan (and prefer wheaters over rye mashbill bourbons), this might be hit or miss. If you appreciate both of those, I would absolutely give this a try. With this proof and age, regardless of mashbill, it is fairly priced (now when is the last time I thought THAT about a bourbon?)
Rating: Must Try

What Richard Says:
Nose: This one comes charging out of the glass as soon as it leaves the bottle with big notes of vanilla cream, caramel fried peach pies, and allspice.
Palate: The palate is a bit more muted than the nose. A few sips rolled around with a splash of water open cinnamon icing drizzled over warm cornbread.
Finish: The oak is very dominant on the lingering finish.
Comments: More wheated mashbill bourbons is not a bad thing. Even better is a higher proofed aged wheater at a sane price. Kudos to Luxco on this addition to the Rebel Yell brand. It drinks closer to a higher proof Fitzgerald as you would expect with the sourcing from Heaven Hill. It doesn’t drink like a Sazerac wheated bourbon (Van Winkle, Weller, etc.). It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely something you should try.
Rating: Must Try

We would like to thank Luxco for sending over a bottle to review.

Char No. 4 Redux

The ceiling at Char No. 4 (pic by Tamir Karta)
The ceiling at Char No. 4 (pic by Tamir Karta)

Back to Char No. 4 with some of my Brooklyn peeps. Like my last trip, I looked at the menu online to

prepare. This time, we sat at the bar and our lithe bartender, Charlotte, repeatedly broke my heart as I rattled off a litany of whiskeys from my online research only to find out that they were out of each one. Battered, but not beaten, I settled in to studying the whisk(e)y list. Although not planned this way, this trip to Char No. 4 became an exercise in inexpensive (mostly) American whiskeys.

I started with the A. H. Hirsch 16yo straight bourbon. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while. This bottling is the very last of the whiskey from the old Michter’s distillery in PA. I don’t really know the history of the distillery, but I cannot believe that they failed due to inferior product. It is always harder for an “off-the-slab” whiskey to compete against the Kentucky bourbon giants, but this whiskey really stands up on taste. The nose is complex and delicate with distinct notes of corn, nuts (cashews?), and Christmas spices. The palate delivers on the promises of the nose and adds some extra sweetness and a little salt. Overall, this is a very balanced whiskey and I encourage you to look for it (not one of the cheap ones though).

Next, we decided to do a little experiment. We ordered some Rebel Yell and some Rebel Reserve for a comparison. Rebel Yell is a wheated bourbon that smells terrible and luckily tastes like nothing. It makes me think of drinking distilled water in the desert sun (wet and tasteless that evaporates the moment it hits your tongue). However, the Rebel Reserve is very drinkable. Rebel Reserve is also a wheated bourbon, but it is made in small batches with a different recipe. The nose is like a lady’s perfume on fresh linen. The palate is smooth and sweet. You can definitely taste the wheat influence. I would not put this in the same class a some of the really high end bourbons, but is definitely stands up to some whiskeys that are twice the price. A very good every day bourbon and an unbeatable price (around $20).

We followed with the mouth numbing Old Weller Antique (107 Proof). With a little water or ice, this is very nice. Plus, it’s almost like getting two whiskeys for one (and for $20!).

Ezra Brooks Single Barrel (12yo) was next on the list. The palate is buttery and sweet with hints of rye and spice. This whiskey doesn’t stick around long, but the finish is pleasant without much burn. The price won’t burn you either (around $30).

I had intended the night to end with the Ezra Brooks, but one of my compatriots insisted on treating me to a dram of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23yo. Who would say no to that? This was a great whiskey (not cheap). However, the consensus around the table was that the 20yo is better. The extra three years smooths the edges a little too much.

I know that most people don’t have access to a place like Char No. 4 in their neighborhood, but I encourage you to seek out some of these cheaper whiskeys and let me know what you think.

BTW – I think I figured out the pricing at Char No. 4 (I have complained of gouging before). The selection was built on the owner’s personal stock. Therefore, much of the pricing is collector pricing that has little to do with the list price of the whiskey. You may find things there that you can’t find anywhere else, but you will pay dearly. But what’s money compared to a once in a lifetime dram? That’s for you to decide.

Drink well and drink responsibly.