By Richard Thomas
The Small Batch Reserve Bourbon represents the peak of the Rebel Yell line, currently six strong and consisting of two bourbons, a rye, a rye-bourbon hybrid and two liqueurs. Reaching the peak means taking one step up from the core product, Rebel Yell Bourbon. Presumably this is an older whiskey than basic Rebel Yell, although there is no published material to confirm that. What is certain is that it is stronger, 90.6 proof (45.3% abv) vs 80 proof.
Rebel Yell had two problems: it’s youth and it’s too-light flavor. The Small Batch Reserve fixes both. The nose is sugar syrup-forward sweet, with a double spoonful of vanilla and a pinch of dry, toasty wood. On the tongue, that sweetness is more orange blossom honey than corn sweet, with the vanilla and touch of dry wood as expected. The finish is plain and warm. In short, it’s a simple, straight-forward wheater bourbon.
Listings for this whiskey range from $20 to $25.