Review: Rebel Distiller’s Collection Single Barrel Bourbon from Virginia ABC
We first encountered Lux Row’s new Distiller’s Collection private barrel offerings last month when we reviewed the Virginia ABC’s Ezra Brooks Single Barrel bourbon selection. Well, here’s another bourbon offering in the collection, and this one’s a wheater. Dubbed simply Rebel, this barrel was selected from Lux Row’s wheated bourbon stocks typically reserved for the Rebel Yell bourbon line. Lux Row introduced a 100 proof version of Rebel Yell in recent years, so that should give us some idea of what to expect with this higher proof single barrel. That said, this particular barrel has a fill date of 9/26/14, so it’s probably a bit older than the standard Rebel Yell offerings. Like the Ezra Brooks selection, this pick comes from Lux Row’s sourced stock. The Ezra pick didn’t differ appreciably from the standard stuff, so let’s see if there is more on offer from Rebel.
The nose is punchy, but not nearly as punchy as the 100 proof even with considerably more alcohol in the mix. It’s heavy with caramel candies, clove, and barrel char, but not nearly as yeasty as other Rebel Yell expressions. As it opens in the glass, a bright, candy sweet caramel apple note takes over. The palate is light but bold with classic bourbon flavor: butterscotch and toasted oak, vanilla bean and brown sugar. A generous heat, punctuated by notes of cinnamon RedHots, arrives on the mid-palate and lingers into the finish, drying with cinnamon stick and barrel char. All-in-all, it’s an enjoyable bourbon. There’s clearly more balance and depth of flavor in this single barrel than the Rebel Yell 100 and definitely more than in the entry-level Rebel.
B+ / $40 / rebelyellbourbon.com