“With a Rebel Yell she cried more, more, more.” That’s right, according to Wikipedia, Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was the inspiration for the Billy Idol hit. He was drinking it with members of The Rolling Stones, big fans of RY, when he decided he liked the name and would use it for a song.
Rebel Yell is a wheated Bourbon, still at least 51% corn and 5% Barley but with wheat instead or rye for the balance. Usually considered a bottom shelf dweller priced around $14 for a 750 ML bottle. Comes in a standard looking bottle with a synthetic cork, bottled at 80 proof and is at least 4 years in the barrel. We had no trouble finding it.
Todd: Very slight aromas of vanilla and ceder along with some kind of grain.
Ron: Vanilla, medicine, and a slight caramel scent. Also smelled somewhat hot.
Todd: Nice heat for 80 proof but very smooth as well. Got some kind of bread taste that was probably the grain I got on the nose. Also picked up a sweet praline like taste.
Ron: Very sweet and very smooth. I tasted the vanilla and caramel that I got on the nose as well as some anise.
Todd: Medium with a nice clean sweetness.
Ron: Medium to medium-long with not much difference in taste.
Todd: You never know what you are getting with some of these low end bottles. I was very impressed, but I am partial to wheated bourbons.
Ron: Not real complex, very sweet but I still liked it. I had tasted RY before and didn’t remember it being this good. I did not know the factoid about Billy Idol and The Rolling Stones, now I like this Bourbon even more!
Nose 3.5 out of 5
Taste 7.25 out of 10
Finish 3.25 out of 5
Overall 14 out of 20 Barrels
Maybe the low price influenced us by setting the bar low and not having very high expectations. We both liked Rebel Yell enough to at least consider it as our default low end Bourbon, taking the place of Old Fitz.
While the score was not very high, we both enjoyed sipping on RY, and last we checked that was the reason we drink Bourbon, also remember the price.
Rebel Yell is cheap enough to mix but we would advise a traditional Bourbon cocktail like a Manhattan, in our minds it is too sweet to mix with cola.
Also makes a good starter Bourbon. If you can get it for close to the price above, we recommend you buy a bottle (or two).