The Rebel Yell Bourbon Review: Who’s it Distilled For?

Bourbon is a very unique and complex alcoholic drink that contains various different ingredients which all combine to create the perfect blend of flavors that many different bourbon selections are known for. Like with all forms of alcohol, there are several different bourbon brands, varieties, and selections out on the market for you to choose from.

All of these different selections have distinct flavors and taste profiles which differentiate them from competing brands. If you’re a true bourbon drinker, you may find it easy to pick up on the subtle nuances that each brand and distillery add to their final mash bill in order to create the flavor you enjoy.

Drinking the exact same bourbon selection over and over again can become quite tiresome and get old after a while. When this happens, you’ll likely be in your local liquor store looking for the next best bourbon selection however sifting through all of the various labels, proof contents, ingredients, and brands can be a bit difficult and overwhelming especially when you can’t test out the bourbon. That’s where research and comprehensive shopping guides come in handy, and that’s exactly what we are sharing with you in this article.

rebel yell 1

Rebel Yell Bourbon is a high-quality brand that produces over 4 different whiskey selections all of which have very distinctive taste notes and flavor infusions. The company itself has a rather rich history in terms of how their bourbon options are distilled and produced. Since there are so many different options for you to choose from, it can be difficult trying to find the perfect bourbon selection that meets all of your preferred flavor profiles and tastes.

Luckily, if you’re one of those people who have been looking for an alternative bourbon option but haven’t been able to find the right bottle, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth review of Rebel Yell Bourbon and all of their various whiskey options so that you will be able to make an educated decision about which one is perfect for your preferred taste.

To begin, let’s take a look at some of the history behind Rebel Yell Bourbon and how it became the strong brand that it is known as today.

History Behind the Company: Rebel Yell Bourbon

rebel yell bourbon

Rebel Yell Bourbon was started in 1849 by an individual known as William Larue Weller who was one of the first people to replace rye with wheat in his whiskey mash bill. The original name of the company was W.L. Weller & Sons until it merged with the Stitzel distillery company which was founded around 1872.

The merger then creates the company Stitzel-Weller in 1910 which was the catalyst for the brand Rebel Yell as it was created out of the process of this merging. The brand itself was the idea of Charles R. Famsley who was at one point the mayor of Louisville, KY. It was branded as a marker to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original Weller distillery company where it would be produced in exclusive batches for distribution around the Southern region of the United States.

Rebel Yell would begin being distributed nationally in 1984 after the Stitzel-Weller merger became broken up. In 1980, the company was purchased by the David Sherman Corporation, since then the brand has changed hands and is now controlled by Lux Row distilleries who operate out of Bardstown, KY. The current location in which Rebel Yell Bourbon is created is over 18,000 square feet and contains a 43-foot copper still.

Now that you know a little bit more about the history of the company behind the brand, it’s time to look at exactly who Rebel Yell Bourbon was created for.

Who was Rebel Yell Bourbon distilled for?

Like with all alcoholic beverages, specific consumers are targeted with certain ingredients and flavor combinations. For example, margarita companies primarily target women due to the fact that they generally prefer more fruity beverages when compared to men. The same is true for this Rebel Yell as they create a variety of bourbon options targeted at individual flavor preferences and taste.

Regardless of what your preferences are, you’ll likely be able to find the right fit in a Rebel Yell variety because they come in six distinct flavors and mash types. So in essence, this bourbon is for anyone who enjoys a variety of different flavors and taste profiles when it comes to whiskey. More particularly, their bourbons are designed for varying levels of consumers from those who want affordable alcohol to those that are interested in higher quality options. So all-around, this brand is for a rather broad audience as opposed to other companies who distill very distinct bourbon flavors and types that are aimed at a very targeted audience.

Depending on your preferred flavor profile, you may find their lower-priced options more enjoyable than their higher-priced options and vice versa. Now that we’ve gone over all of the core audience in which these bourbon options are distilled for, it’s time to look at all of them in-depth.

Detailed Look: Rebel Yell Bourbon

rebel yell and ice cream

All of the bourbon options produced by this brand come in very distinctive recipes which all vary significantly from one another. This allows you as the consumer to choose high-quality recipes using your existing knowledge of how your favorite whiskeys taste. Since all of these variants are made using intricate recipes and varying distillation methods, you need to know what sets them apart before making your final purchase decision.

In the following section, we’re going to give you a detailed breakdown about all of the selections offered by Rebel Yell and their different taste profiles so that you can make an educated drinking decision.  Make sure that you read the breakdown of each bourbon selection carefully so that you will be able to choose the right option that aligns with your preferred flavor profile.

Kentucky Straight Bourbon

The Kentucky straight bourbon selection is the original recipe used by Yeller that has an alcohol volume of 40% and an 80-proof rating. This particular blend dates back to the beginning of the inception of this brand when they primarily made only one bourbon type. All around, it’s a smooth yet robust mixture that has a powerful kick to it reminiscent of old-time distillation methods and practices. Throughout this variety, you will find hints of butter flavor combined with honey which gives the bourbon a nice rich texture.

There are also traces of warm spice sprinkled through the mixture which adds a nice opposing element to the blend overall. Its main ingredients include malt, wheat, and corn in addition to all of the other extra taste infusions we mentioned previously.

100 Proof Bourbon

100% proof

100 proof bourbon is actually one of the newest additions to the Rebel bourbon lineup made primarily from wheat. This blend was formulated based on the original recipe used for Yeller selections however it takes all of the existing elements to the next level. This recipe is made using malt, corn, and wheat which are distilled to provide you a taste of sweetness that has underlying tones of smooth vanilla.

To top it all off, this blend has a rather dry finish making it one of the harsher selections in the lineup. This blend is very potent and provides an exhilarating rush to the tongue upon consumption, great for those who prefer a stronger a bourbon option. It also has hints of strong caramel sprinkled throughout the entire mash which adds a nice accenting flavor to the existing harsh mix.

10-Year Single Barrell Bourbon

The 10-year single barrel bourbon selection is one of the longest aged varieties offered by Rebel Yell being that it is aged in charred oak barrels for 10yrs. This selection has an alcohol content of 50% by volume and it is 100 proof making it a very potent variety offered by the company. It also has one of the most unique blends offered by the company being that it has hints of citrus and caramel combined. As you progress through the body of bourbon, it reveals the underlying oak flavor profile prevalent in this variety in addition to the spices infused in the mixture.

The primary ingredients included in this selection are wheat, malt, and corn which are what make up the majority of the flavor that you’ll experience in addition to the other ingredients included this mash. The overall blend of this selection is very robust which provides for a nice and smooth bourbon.

Straight Rye Whiskey

This is a small batch bourbon option that includes a mash bill made of corn, rye, and malted barley which adds a nice traditional taste to the blend overall. It contains 51% rye in the mix and also has hints of vanilla and wood grain infused through the entire blend. You will also find tastes of spices throughout which adds a nice balance to the overall flavor upon consumption. The overall taste of this bourbon ranges in the spicy and sweet which makes for a complex and contrasting taste profile.

You will also find hints of chocolate in this blend which adds a nice smooth undertone to the taste. The rye takes the place of the wheat in this blend adding a nice and strong taste to the mash bill itself.

Ginger Whiskey

Ginger Whiskey 

This was the first straight bourbon selection made by the company which has a proof rating of 70 and alcohol content of 35% by volume. This blend also has hints of sweetness, spice, and vanilla-infused into its main flavor profile which is a nice balanced combination of flavors that round out all of the other complex tastes you will encounter while consuming. This blend has a very raw alcohol taste which is rounded out with the remaining recipe that creates a very potent and flavorful blend in all.

Root Beer Whiskey

The root beer whiskey option is one of the newest options created by Rebel which combines flavors of root beer and genuine bourbon for a delightful drink. This option has a 70-proof rating and an alcohol content rating of 35% alcohol by volume. It has flavors and tastes of sugar and caramel which add to the main root beer flavor that you experience while drinking this selection. This blend is a very unique selection that gives you a robust flavor profile all throughout the bottle.

Now that we’ve gone over all of the bourbon options offered by Rebel Yell, it’s time to take a look at the main distillation and bottling process used by the company.

Primary Distillation: Rebel Yell

rebell yell distilery

Every Rebel Yell variety is distilled at Heaven Hill Distillery who is owned by Lux Row Distilleries. While each variety is made using different ingredients and aging lengths, they all contain many of the same core elements which combine to make the primary mash bill that they are distilled from. The facility in which these selections are distilled use advanced equipment and technology which ensure a refined and premium taste every time.

By law, every bourbon whiskey on the market for must meets very specific production qualifications. For any whiskey selection on the market, the contents must contain at least 51% of corn in the mash bill. The other elements which must be continued with a bourbon selection include barley and rye which can make up anywhere from 10%-25% of the blend. Wheat is a common yet optional ingredient in many bourbon selections and can make up about 10% of any given selection.

Rebel’s Make

Rebel uses a variety of different grains for their bourbon options all of which add different flavors and taste variables. Once the grains are gathered, it’s time to collect the water which will be used during the fermentation and distillation process. The water used in the production of Rebel whiskeys tends to be limestone-filtered water however it can vary to spring water depending on the specific blend and flavor being made.

After the grains and water are selected, they begin the grain cooking process which is what is the first step in making the final blend that you pick up off store shelves. After that, the distillery begins the yeast growth process and they use their very own special blend to create all of the varieties that you have to choose from. Once the mash bill has been made, it will undergo the fermentation process in which the yeast will be allowed to develop into its full characteristics.

After fermentation is complete, the distillation process will begin which is the process by which alcohol is extracted from the initial bourbon blend. The distillation process of each bourbon can last from an array of different lengths all depending on the particular selection being made and it’s required recipe. After all of that is complete, it is time to begin filling the barrels so that the bourbon may begin the aging process required for its particular blend and flavor. The amount of time that bourbon is aged in storage will all depend on the selection being made and what it’s desired flavor profile is.

This is the primary distillation method by which all the Yell varieties are created however remember that certain steps may vary depending on the specific variety being produced at the time. Now that we’ve gone over the method by which all of these bourbon options are created, it’s time to look at the main ingredients included in these selections to help you make the right decision about which one will taste the best on your tongue.

Inside the Ingredients: Rebel Yell Bourbon

rebel cocktails

Rebel Yell is known for their distinctive bourbon recipes and unique flavors which span the spectrum of everything from classic recipes to new and innovative mash bills. One thing that all of these bourbon selections have in common is that they all include specific ingredients which combine to create the perfect blend of tongue popping flavors and robust tastes that you will encounter upon consuming the variety of your choice.

In the following section, we’re going to breakdown the intimate details about the ingredients and recipes of the varieties offered by Rebel so that you will be able to make the right decision about which option is suited for your preferred flavor profile. Make sure you read this entire following section in full so that you can understand all of the core elements which are included in specific bottles that you may select.

Core Mash Bill Breakdown

One thing that you must remember regardless of which selection you choose is that all of these varieties will come with their own unique taste and flavor profiles.

  • Bottler: Luxco
  • Distiller: Heaven Hill
  • Region: Kentucky, US
  • Mash Bill: Wheat, Malted Barley, 51%+ Corn
  • Cask: New Charred Oak
  • Age: NAS 4+yrs
  • ABV: 50%

Rebel Yell 100 Tasting Notes

Rebel Yell 100

Finish– medium body with peanut butter, toffee, jelly, and oak infused into it which giving it a nice balanced and rounded taste.

Palate- dark fruit and oak combine to provide a rather rich and sultry taste that is offset with the subtle sweetness of peanut butter. It also has notes of cocoa and toffee which add a nice refreshing twist to the overall flavor profile of this selection in addition to the spice and nutmeg added into the blend which provides a nice spicy undertone to the mash bill general. To top it all off, there is a very roast taste to the blend which is what provides the final touches on a quality blend option.

Balance Body & Feel- the body of this whiskey is rather medium-bodied although it has a very light feel on the tongue and during consumption. This is also a very nice balanced bourbon option that is packed with tons of unique notes and tastes that you will enjoy regardless of your preferred taste.

Eye– the eye of this bourbon consists mainly of dark amber which provides a deep and rich flavor profile to the bourbon in general.

Nose– it’s nose contains many of the same ingredients as the eye and body however you get some extra biscuit flavors infused into it making for the perfect combination of earth tones with fruit and sweetness blended inside. This selection is a very balanced and well-distilled variety that comes with dried cherry flavors throughout which adds the right amount of fruity contrast to the final blend.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most important elements as they relate to the flavor and taste of primary RY distillations, let’s look at some of the tasting pros and cons that we’ve found.

Pros & Cons: The Truth About How Rebel Yell Bourbon Tastes

By now, you can see that there are a lot of different tastes and flavors infused into RY selections and varieties regardless of which one you choose. In the following section, we’re going to take a look at some of the main tasting pros and cons to see how you will be able to decide on which variety is right for your preferred tasting habits.

Pros

  • Very rounded and nice blends which give you the ability to choose the drinking experience you obtain ay any moment
  • A wide selection of bourbon options to choose from
  • Unique distillation and fermentation process ensures a quality product

Cons

  • Rather old-style recipes with small innovations in terms of new flavors

Our Honest Opinion

If you’re looking for a high-quality bourbon, Rebel Yell definitely has many different options for you to choose from meaning that you’re bound to find the right fit. After tasting many of these selections and analyzing their price point, we’ve come to the conclusion that this brand is definitely worth a taste for anyone who needs a cold drink.

Alternative Recommendations

While Rebel does offer a lot of unique bourbon selections, they mot not all be for every bourbon drinker in existence. Because of this, you will want to make sure that you try all of the various whiskey selections out there so that you won’t be limited in any capacity. In the following section, we’re going to go over all of the alternative bourbon options that you can choose from if Rebel Yell just doesn’t meet yours expect flavor profile or desired taste.

All of these selections are made using different recipes and ingredients so you will still want to consider your desired flavor before making a final decision about which variety you find perfect for consumption. Make sure you read the breakdown of each of these selections so that you will be able to decide on a drink option that provides you with a robust flavor profile.

#1 Heaven Hill Green Label

Heaven Hill Green Label

Heaven Hill Green Label is one of the most affordable bourbon options out on the market however don’t let the price fool you. This selection has a very limited availability particularly only in the Kentucky region and it has a very unique taste that you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s a rather traditional bourbon blend that has an ear of a very basic wheat, barley, rye, and corn mash bill that is fermented and distilled to bring out the full flavors which underly the main body of this selection. The primary flavors that you’ll notice in this particular selection are peanut, brown sugar, and apple all of which combine in order to provide you with a well-balanced flavor of complex tastes.

#2 W.L. Weller 12-Year

W.L. Weller 12-Year

W.L. Weller 12-year bourbon is a wheat-based bourbon that tastes like pappy which is what makes it such a sought-after variety. This bourbon is very smooth and rich with hints of corn and honey that provide a rounded taste on your tongue.

It also has very complex flavor notes throughout its body which add to how robust the taste is overall upon consuming this selection. This particular alcohol selection has a proof rating of 90 and is aged for 12yrs before making it into any bottle that you’ll find on store shelves.

#3 Watershed Bourbon

Watershed Bourbon

Watershed bourbon is a very unique selection due to the fact that it includes not only the traditional corn and wheat mixture but it also contains hints of spelled which give the drink a unique flavor profile that you won’t find anywhere else.

Alongside these ingredients, you will also find notes of rye, corn, barley, and more sprinkled throughout this bourbon mixture which add a nice base of consistent flavors for you to enjoy while consuming this variety. They offer a wide range of different bourbon recipes for you to choose from including their Old-Fashioned selection.

Conclusion

We’ve covered all of the most important tasting elements and flavor profiles that you’ll gain access to when drinking RY. By using this guide as an informative assistant to help you make the right choice while out shopping, you will be able to choose the perfect bourbon blend for your desired taste needs in no time. Before making your final purchase, you want to consider all of the factors we’ve covered in this guide to ensure that you will select a drinking option which fits your exact needs and preferences.

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Ben Holt

Ben has years of experience with wine, whiskey, and scotch. After becoming a wine sommelier, he decided to focus his attention on the dark southern gold we call whiskey. Now a seasoned vet in the whiskey game, he regularly provides Whiskey Watch with the latest whiskey info and his personal opinion on the best whiskeys in the world.
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