We take a break from scotch today and move our sights to the USA, where we're looking at a single cask bourbon from Lux Row distillers.
Rebel 10yo Single Barrel Bourbon
Available in the UK from The Bottle Club, this release from Lux Row Distilleries is distilled and aged in Bardstown, Kentucky, USA. It is aged in charred oak barrels for 10 years.
Full disclosure the sample for this review was provided by Lux Row Distillers and The Whisky Wire. This of course will have no impact on our review.
We're finding a rich nose of toffee, marzipan, ginger spice, a little sour pineapple and lingering caramel. It reminds us a little of a nice Jamaican rum, minus some of that Caribbean funk. For 50%, the alcohol is quite present, giving a white pepper and sawdust aroma as your nose goes deeper into the glass. Air reveals some leathery aromas alongside some deep, toasted oak notes.
The initial sip reveals nothing but Bourbon, minty fresh toothpaste, new oak, vanilla cream frosting, sweet caramel drizzle all backed up by a tingly pepper spice. The mouthfeel has a nice texture, it's mouth coating but disappears quite quickly, however there are lingering notes of honey, ginger and zingy citrus on the finish. It's the type of whiskey that feels a little light on the front palate, but catches you by surprise as it develops. Air brings out some orchard fruits, green apple skin, more citrus peel and a light cakeiness too. It's a little more alcohol forward than we were expecting, especially at only 50%, but there's good balance of other flavours within the whiskey.
Nose (with water)
Dilution brings a herbal quality to the nose which we didn't detect before, there's some of the mint leaves from the palate in addition to a few more grassy/eucalyptus aromas that are quite interesting. The toffee has turned to fudge, and overall the whisky is considerably lighter on the nose than before.
Palate (with water)
The diluted palate feels lighter in the same way as the reduced nose, with more of those herbal/floral flavours coming through. The alcohol has come right into balance, but at the expense of some of the richer, toastier flavours we enjoyed. The mouthfeel is retained, but the dram feels a little lacklustre now. We'd avoid the addition of water here, or go very sparingly if you do wish to add a few drops.
We always enjoy single barrel bourbons, and this Rebel Bourbon release is no exception. It's big and bold, both on the nose and palate, however water can really dilute a lot of these interesting characteristics. It's a good bourbon, although slightly too alcohol-forward for us. Saying that, we enjoyed it a lot and will give it a 7.5/10.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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