A wheated 100 proof edition of Rebel Bourbon – which means it’s bottled up at 50% ABV. Made according to its original time-honoured recipe since 1849. Matured for at least 4 years in new charred American white oak barrels.
Appearance: Ale amber. A slightly tatty beaded swirl line appears upon swirling. A semi-viscous film forms with some small seeping teardrops and medium trails.
Nose: A decent amount of alcohol wafts up from the glass. The unmistakable aromas of vanilla, toffee and a healthy helping of spice. Some cherry Coke appears after a little while, adding a fruity, slightly sharper element, which balances nicely against the spice. As my nose acclimatises slightly to the spice and ABV, there’s a more mellow sweetness from the vanilla/toffee combo, like a ripple ice cream. Underpinning the other aromas is a furniture varnish layer, it works though. There’s an almost salty note too. After a couple of sips, the nose reveals digestive biscuit malt.
Palate: A pleasant oily mouthfeel and nicely balanced first sip of sweet and spicy, with a touch of salted caramel. The Cherry Coke has become more syrupy along with expressed orange and black pepper. A slightly astringent note appears after the spice. There’s a reassuring warmth on the chest and a subtle tingle from the spices on the sides of the mouth. The more I sip this one, the less it agrees with me I’m afraid. The build of acidity and bitterness aren’t elements I go for.
Finish: White pepper, orange peel, salted caramel and the bitter element all last for a medium to long time.
Overall: Started strongly but ended up not being my cup of tea. It’s well balanced but the flavour profile isn’t my cup of tea.