Rebel Yell Bourbon. Discuss.

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 10.16.01 AMI’ve been know to enjoy a bourbon from time to time. I was recently admiring labels and this one in particular struck me as odd. There are several things going on here that I found somewhat incongruous. The Confederate cavalryman I get. But “Rebel” Yell established in 1849? And the “deep south” of Old Kentucky? Hmmmmmmmm…. maybe they are just trying to cover all their bases. What are your thoughts? Not for nothing…this stuff is pretty good for a less expensive bourbon.

With compliments,


13 thoughts on “Rebel Yell Bourbon. Discuss.”

  1. Two thoughts: 1 Is Billy Idol a part owner in this distillery? And 2 It is interesting that although Kentucky was a Union state in the Civil War, the perception these days is otherwise. Oh, a third notion: Bookers

    1. Ah yes – Kentucky certainly leaned more toward the Confederacy after the war. Strange how that happened. And personally…I’m a Makers man.

      1. Makers is always in the house here, but on the rare times I splurge, it’s Bookers. Are you Makers Ambassador? If not you should sign up, they send you a Christmas gift every year and you get your name on a barrel from which you’ll have an opportunity to visit the distillery and buy bottles from the batch containing your barrel.

          1. I’ll check it out. And…I like Perryville. I visited the site once years ago. It was great because I was the only person there.

  2. Kentucky the Deep South but with good bourbon I can overlook the slight advertising flaw. I come from a long line of rebels (55th and 26th Virginia) known to enjoy the jug. Thanks for the recommendation- will keep a sharp eye peeled for this one!

    1. Well – since there were no rebels quite yet, I am going to assume that the distillery was founded in 1849 and then much later folks renamed the spirit to capitalize on the Confederate legacy in Kentucky. I am sure the details of all of this are much more interesting than I am describing. I would certainly have liked to have listened in on the meeting that took place regarding potential names.

      1. Yes, that is what I assumed as well. Either that, or the distillers were 6 years more prescient than John Brown’s note to his jailer.

  3. According to Reid Mitenbuler’s Bourbon Empire (Penguin Books, 2015), Rebel Yell was created in the mid 1940s and aimed to capitalize on southern nationalism. Its original label featured a confederate infantryman with a raised sword. It began as a brand of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery (known best for Pappy Van Winkle) and was marketed exclusively in the south. Rebel Yell reworked its label to tone down confederate imagery when it expanded nationally in 1984. So like a lot of bourbons, its label is more mythology than record.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Keith – yes…I figured they were capitalizing on CSA nationalism (even in this toned down version), I was just wondering how they reconciled all the statements on this bottle that seem incongruous: dates, geography, etc. Perhaps they figure people don’t really pay that much attention? I would not be surprised.

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