Rebel Yell continues its march upmarket with this third single barrel release, again a 10 year old bourbon that joins its acclaimed 2016 and 2017 single barrel releases. Brand owner Luxco hasn’t reinvented the wheel here, again relying on a wheated recipe and a bold, 100-proof alcohol level.
2018’s Rebel Yell Single Barrel sees a nose that is bold and peppery, with notes of barrel char and cloves both clear and present, indicators of a well-aged, but not yet overblown, spirit. On the palate, the whiskey rolls over you in waves. First comes sweet vanilla, a welcome mat for spicy notes of cinnamon red hots and more clove elements, which dominate the center of the experience. It’s much bolder than the typical wheater, though the higher proof may be responsible for some of that.
As the finish arrives, a silky yet bittersweet dark chocolate note emerges, really taking over the center of the mouth. All around the edges, though, spice continues to dominate, those cinnamon and vanilla notes lingering, echoing, and beautifully complementing the cocoa-dusted conclusion. Another top-notch release in the Rebel Yell lineup.
100 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #5083254, distilled 09/06.