Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel Bourbon (2024 Release) Review & Tasting Notes


Have you heard of the term wheater when discussing Bourbon and wondered what that meant?


Wheater is slang for a wheated Bourbon. Instead of using rye as the second most prominent ingredient in the mash bill, the distiller uses wheat. Wheaters are typically softer and sweeter than traditional and high-rye Bourbons because distilled wheat is flavorless. What wheat does do is highlight the corn’s sweetness, allowing it to shine through.


Some other well-known wheaters are Maker’s Mark, W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, and, of course, Pappy Van Winkle. Another, which has been around since 1936, is Rebel (formerly Rebel Yell). The “Yell” part was dropped in 2020.


Rebel Yell was initially made by Stitzel-Weller. Until the 1980s, it was only sold in southern states due to its correlation to the Confederacy. The recipe allegedly dates back to 1849 because that’s what W.L. Weller & Sons used. The breakdown of the mashbill is undisclosed beyond corn, wheat, and malted barley.


Today, we’re exploring the 2024 edition of Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel. It comes from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery because Lux Row Distillers didn’t exist on February 16, 2012, when this whiskey was barreled. The distillery came into existence in 2018. Formerly known as Luxco, the brand usually contracted with Heaven Hill Distilleries, specifically from its Bernheim campus. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that’s the source. Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel has been an annual release for several years.


“The annual Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel shows how Rebel is bridging the gap between its heritage and modern tastes. I think consumers will appreciate the hand-crafted single barrel process when they experience the robust, rebellious flavor and mature finish of this extra smooth sipping whiskey.”John Rempe, Master Distiller


The bottle I will review is from Barrel No. 6183611. It is packaged at 50% ABV (100°) and has a suggested price of $99.99 for a 750ml. Like many limited-edition whiskeys, this is an allocated product.


And I must thank Lux Row Distillers for providing me with this #DrinkCurious opportunity in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s get to that.


Appearance: I poured this Bourbon into my Glencairn glass to sip neat. Its color was caramel with an orange hue. A thicker rim was produced; it yielded slow, syrupy tears.


Nose: Rebel 10-Year’s nose is a caramel bomb. It simply exploded from the glass. Its wake was butterscotch, orange zest, plums, and dates. Finally, there was a hint of fresh leather. Inhaling the vapor through my lips suggested dusty corn.


Palate: This whiskey’s mouthfeel was creamy and carried weight. The front of my palate immediately found orange-infused salted caramel. At my mid-palate, I tasted vanilla, dates, and tobacco. The back included charred oak, clove, and more orange zest.


Finish: Lately, I find that I’m into timing finishes. Milk chocolate, orange zest, clove, salted caramel, and charred oak remained on my palate and throat. The clove and charred oak outlast the rest. Per my stopwatch, the duration was 2 minutes 23 seconds, and I’d suggest it’s very long.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I got lost in the nosing – not that it was complicated, but rather enchanting. It was almost as if I had to drag myself away to continue exploring this Bourbon. The first thing I noticed beyond the mouthfeel was how spot-on the 100° is – it wasn’t hot, yet there was enough not to drown out the spices absorbed by the distillate from the oak.


I know many purists despise the word smooth, but dammit, Rebel 10-Year is precisely that. It has no harsh quality; that creamy factor certainly lends further credence to that descriptor. Flavorwise, this was delicious. I enjoyed the long finish.


Is Heaven Hill the source? I still say yes. At the end of the day, does it really matter? Nope. What Rebel 10-Year Single Barrel brings to the table (and your palate) is well worth the price of admission – it earns every iota of my Bottle rating. Cheers!




My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.