This particular expression of Rebel has undergone a final maturation process in ex-Tawny Port casks.
Appearance: Tizer orange. A lovely thick tide mark, viscous film and fat trails form when swirled. Lovely and oozy on the inside of the glass. After a time there’s an inverted crown of trails seeping down from the swirl line.
Nose: The usual caramel, vanilla, subtle pepper and cinnamon spice and oak are all shrouded in a sweet layer of yumminess. There’s also a damp leaf litter note swirling around that I like, very natural. It’s a very nice balance of those spice notes and sweetness, like pepper-dusted stewed stoned fruit.
Palate: Not overly oily. Subtle spice and a prominent damp basement element, funky (not funk). The sweeter notes are there, but subdued: vanilla, caramel and cherry ripple ice cream. Some fruit pie and custard flavours struggle to make themselves known. The bourbon spices seem to suppress the sweeter influences from the port unfortunately, I’d love to see a more prominent result from the finishing.
Finish: The black pepper and cinnamon spiciness linger the longest. There is some creamy vanilla and cherry fruits but they fade fairly quickly. Quite oak drying.
Overall: Disappointed as I love Tawny Port finishing. The spice is too much for the sweetness to cope with and it all becomes a bit confused and messy.