This was my first experience with Rebel Yell, and I bought a bottle upon recommendation of a friend.
First, it pours a surprisingly light color for a bourbon. More golden than the usual amber.
On the nose, you pick up oak and some spice (hard to define) but very little else. It does have that unique “bourbon scent”.
The palate is somewhat thin, with the oak being the predominant flavor. There are hints of mint and baking spice in the background. Not a lot of depth or complexity.
The aftertaste is interesting. It was longer than I had expected, with a bit of alcohol burn at the end. After a minute or so, I was left with some vanilla/caramel, and maybe some tea flavors.
Overall, this is a nice one to sip either neat or with ice/soda when you don’t want to have to put a great deal of thought into analyzing your whiskey. When I want something light and easy in a bourbon, I will go back to this. And it’s a bargain in New Orleans, at about $12-$14 per bottle, depending upon where you purchase it.
I've had standard Rebel Yell (wheated bourbon) from 6 different batches at different times and they were all over the place in flavour, smoothness vs roughness, and general quality. About half of the bottles were very good, and at Rebel Yell's very inexpensive US price represented outstanding value for money. About half of the bottles of Rebel Yell I tasted I did not like at all, and would not want a bottle of. Unfortunately the only bottle of it I ever bought for myself was one of the inferior ones. My advice: sample the batch of Rebel Yell you are thinking of buying first. If it a good one, then you are getting a steal. If not, stay far away.
Rebel Reserve, and the newer much older age-stated Rebel Yells, are far superior to the standard release.
Luxco, located in St. Louis, Missouri, owns Rebel Yell and puts out several products which are very cost-competitive, especially in the US. I think that the 45% ABV Ezra Brooks bourbon (standard bourbon made with rye grain) is a much safer bet for quality than is standard Rebel Yell. Old Ezra 101 7 yo and Ezra B. 12 yo Single Barrel are very nice products. There is even an ultra-cheap (in the US) Exotico Reposado Tequila put out by Luxco which is really quite serviceable.