rebel yell 10 year single barrel bourbon review

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon

rebel-yell-10-year-single-barrel-compressed

Distillery: Lux Row (likely sourced from Heaven Hill)

Type & Region: Bourbon, Kentucky, USA

Alcohol: 50%

Composition: 68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% barley

Aged: 10 years in virgin American white oak

Color: 1.3/2.0 on the color scale (russet muscat)

Price: $60-70

From the Lux Row website:

“Aged in charred oak barrels for 10 years, this bourbon boasts a unique flavor profile specific to each batch. It’s one-of-a-kind, just like the rebels who drink it.”

Company Website

rebel yell 10 year single barrel bourbon overview

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel is an interesting bourbon with unique company. It’s a double-digit age-stated wheated bourbon that numbers-wise lives in the same realm as Old Fitzgerald, Van Winkle, and William Larue Weller, all outrageously difficult to find wheated bourbons. Come on everyone, climb onto the hype train! That said, Rebel Yell 10 Year actually has the most in common with Old Fitzgerald because it’s sourced from Heaven Hill, who also makes Old Fitzgerald.

 

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel bourbon comes from Luxco (now owned by MGP), who also owns Old Ezra, Lux Row Double Barrel Bourbon, Blood Oath, Yellowstone, anything Rebel-branded, and more. This particular single barrel comes from barrel 5083249 and was aged starting 09/06, as shown on the label, but I’m not entirely sure when it was dumped as it’s not disclosed. I found this bottle in 2018/2019, so it could actually be 11 or 12 years old, but I can’t confirm that. There’s already a lot to be intrigued by with Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, so let’s smell and taste this to determine if it’s actually good in this Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel bourbon review. 

rebel yell 10 year single barrel bourbon smell

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel bourbon has lightly peanut-y caramel nougat, peanut brittle, vanilla, dried citrus, baked apple, roasted oak, cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, clove, and hints of prunes with not much heat. Yeah, this definitely has that Heaven Hill peanut nuttiness. So far, everything smells fragrant and pleasant, although not huge, and leans a little darker and oaky given the age.

 

Swirling brings out slightly more heat with musty oak, nuts, caramel, and oak char, then smoke, vanilla, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and cherry. Agitation coaxes out more of that 10 year oakiness before fading and letting the peanut brittle and caramel nougat come back to the front with hints of grain mash and fruit. It definitely smells 10+ years old with that fragrant darker sweet and oaky depth, although it doesn’t quite have the lower-end richness of say Old Fitzgerald 15 Year Bottled in Bond. That’s not even remotely a fair comparison, but the point is that Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon smells quite good but isn’t outstanding. 

rebel yell 10 year single barrel bourbon taste & aftertaste

Rebel Yell 10 Year has a good amount of dark caramel, dried citrus peel, vanilla, oak, clove, cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg, and hints of grassy nuttiness. The roasted oak also has a stronger presence in the flavors, further reinforcing its age.

 

“Chewing” gives me a little more caramel, vanilla, peanut, orange, roasted oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, dark chocolate, and coffee grounds. This is one of the more clove-forward bourbons I’ve had, probably due to the wheated mash. The heat and oak are a little stronger now as well, but still well moderated, adding a little extra darkness and character. Rebel Yell 10 Year tastes very good with decent roundness and richness, but I can’t quite say that they’re so layered or complex.

 

At first the finish has an oaky sweetness that’s part caramel, vanilla, orange peel, oak tannins, cinnamon, clove, and coffee grounds. It’s quite citrus and clove-forward on the finish, probably because of the wheat. “Chewing” brings out more oak with caramel, citrus, vanilla, drying oak tannins, cinnamon, and clove. The at least 10 years of oak aging really shows up in the finish, leaving long lasting oak and clove to tie everything-up nicely.

Place on the Whiskey Shelf

Mid shelf+

Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, or at least this particular barrel, is quite good and keeps growing on me over time. I enjoy the peanut brittle, caramel nougat, citrus, oak, and clove, but at the same time it does tend to be a little straightforward and doesn’t have quite the heft or richness of a “Top Shelf” bourbon. It’s still plenty enjoyable to drink regardless, so I’ve rated it as such. What makes this unique for a wheated bourbon is the stronger oakiness and darkness because of the extra age, while most wheated bourbons out there tend to be 5-7 years old, with some very expensive and impossible to find 10+ year old exceptions.

 

Your experience may vary because this comes from a single barrel, but I can’t imagine that this is one of the bad ones. When it comes to other wheated bourbons, I think it’s comparable to Maker’s Mark Private Selects and New Riff Maltster Wheated Bourbon (although both are quite different) and a hair better than Weller Antique 107, but that is a claim I need to double check in a head-to-head comparison. In the realm of wheated bourbons, Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon is a solid choice, especially if you can find it at or close to the $60 MSRP. Distribution and availability can be a little spotty at times, but it should be easier to find than Weller anything. All things considered, this is worth trying if you can find it. 

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