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Rebel Yell bourbon is one of the five large labels of the 5% or so of bourbons made with wheat instead of rye as the "flavoring grain", along with Van Winkle, Weller, Maker's Mark, and Old Fitzgerald. There is also a Rebel Reserve bourbon. My sister had a really great bottle of Rebel Yell about 3 years ago, which made me excited to try a bottle of my own. My bottle was not as good, by far. This bourbon is assumed to be 4 years old, since there is no other age statement on the bottle. The bottle has been open about 2 years, and has improved slightly with time. I kept hoping... The bottle is about 80% full
Colour: rather pale, for bourbon
Nose: pretty good 2 years open, fairly weak for most of the prior period. Now, pretty strong oak/wheat combo, with good vanilla. This is that interesting and unique combination of the flavours of oak and those of wheat grain. Pretty sweet. Now worth 22/25, previously 19/25. Compromise rating: 20/25
Taste: dilute tasting...then and now. The wheat flavours are pretty slight compared to other wheated bourbons, even young ones, of comparable aging history. Sweet, in satisfactory balance, but...there is nothing at all interesting going on here. This particular bottle is just nothing-y, like a wheated bourbon diluted one part bourbon to two parts water
Finish: pretty short, with almost no complexity whatsover...there is sweet wood with a hint of wheat flavour, nothing more
Balance: Where can I buy a bottle of that Rebel Yell I tasted at Mary Anne's house three years ago? This is a pale third-rate imitation. Among standard release bourbons, most of my top favourites are wheated bourbons, eg Pappy Van Winkle 15 and William Larue Weller. I hate to see a crappy wheated bourbon with very little to offer. This bottle would be best for mixing rather than sipping. I really hope that they will bring back a better version of this. Not too long ago Rebel Yell was very good indeed. I am hopeful, but I would have to have a good more-recent sample of it before I would buy another bottle.