The higher proof means that, yes, the alcohol percentage is higher: 50% ABV versus 40%. But this isn’t about getting tanked. It’s about having a more intense, more profound bourbon experience.
This is a bourbon that says, “Hey, pay attention to me.” After all, there’s something a little — what’s the word? — rebellious about a 100-proof bourbon. It’s not fooling around.
Higher proof bourbons are kind of a trend, as whiskey drinkers become more sophisticated and more appreciative of bourbon as something to savor.
“This is a bourbon I would definitely advise as a sipper,” says John Rempe, head distiller and master blender for Rebel Yell. “It gives you the whole sensory cornucopia, from the sweet aroma up front to a dry finish.”
Take a taste of the 100 proof and you’re immediately hit with a more intense bourbon experience. It’s a little “hotter” on the tongue, with a more concentrated bouquet of caramel and vanilla notes.
Compare that to Rebel Yell’s ever-popular 80 proof, which is the minimum you need for a bourbon to be called a bourbon. It’s an easy drinker, a little sweeter, highly approachable, good on its own, but ready to party down with soda or serve as the platform of a great cocktail.
That’s not to say you can’t use the 100 proof in a whiskey cocktail recipe. You just want to choose a drink with a limited number of ingredients, such as an old fashioned, so the bourbon stays front and center.
With the release of the 100 proof, Rebel Yell is rolling out new packaging for every whiskey in the lineup (except Single Barrel). The familiar rounded bottle now sports embossing on it, with a new cap that feels good in the hand and ornate silver foil around the neck.
The label is bolder and more assertive, with the no-nonsense “Rebel Yell” in black lettering, visible from across a crowded room. You can’t miss it. Just as it should be.