Will Rebel Yell have you crying, “More, more, more?”
Admittedly the name does not instill the confidence of high quality. Like Fighting Cock, perhaps, it connotes a rough and tumble Old West style. I poured a glass and prepared to be burned in more ways than one.
I was surprised to find that Rebel Yell is far more innocuous than its vocal name might imply. First off, it’s a wheated Bourbon, which invariably lends itself to more softness. While age isn’t disclosed, the whiskey does feel a bit young, and there’s a certain kick and brashness to be found in the raw grain character. But it’s not altogether rough, just a bit pungent.
Stepping back, Rebel Yell has largely classic wheated Bourbon characteristics: Vanilla, a lively undercurrent of cinnamon, and wood notes. That graininess lingers on the finish, but it isn’t unpleasant. For all its rough-and-tumble aspirations, Rebel Yell ultimately comes together as one of the lighter and simpler whiskeys I’ve tried in recent memory.