Rebel Yell Re-branded


In 1970 I saw Janis Joplin at Freedom Hall here in Louisville. Naturally, she had her ubiquitous bottle of Southern Comfort next to the mic stand, but back by a Marshall stack I saw a bottle of Rebel Yell. I knew the bottle having seen it at my grandfather’s house and immediately PawPaw’s cool factor which had previously been about 0%, skyrocketed in my 15 year old economy.

I got an email the other day about the re-branding of a classic bottom shelf dwelling bourbon. A bourbon normally associated with throwing back rather than lingering over. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon has a new look for its brand lineup.

The updated packaging definitely elevates the brand’s look. The new bottle features an embossed rounded shoulder in addition to a revised front and back label. The new bottle is topped with a matted capsule closure and a natural cork, further enhancing the packaging, which was designed by David Cole. If you just landed in from Mars, you might think it was another craft branded bourbon.

Eric Winter, whiskey brand manager at Luxco says “By adding the new capsule closure with hints of silver and updating the label with bolder lettering, the new Rebel Yell look aligns with the brand attitude. The glass embossing on the bottle also adds a tactile component to the consumer’s experience, further elevating the overall look of the package…”

By now, you know I am no bourbon expert. After observing my mode of dress, my ex-wife would often comment: “all of your taste is in your mouth”. Turns out THAT is not even true as I can’t tell almond from citrus from ash when it comes to tasting bourbon and yet I like it. I LIKE IT A LOT!

Anyway, as the press release promised, it retains the same mash bill and recipe which is traditionally pretty “wheaty”. It tasted to me like it has in the past. HOWEVER, and this is just a personal observation, with its new duds and a new Suggested Retail Price of $17.95, it looks like Rebel Yell is aspiring to come off the bottom shelf. It hasn’t been that long ago it could be had for $12 to $15.

In addition to the new packaging, the brand is launching a new variant this year: Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon 100 proof. It has the same recipe and mash bill as the traditional RY which clocks in at 80 proof. This whiskey will also have the new brand packaging enhancements and has an SRP of $19.99.

This year, Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel will roll out nationwide in a very limited allocation. Which means it will not be distributed far and wide, but Kentucky will get the firstborn’s share of it.  This year, about 2,600 cases will be available in its original packaging, 750ml bottle sold in individual boxes. A limited amount will be available for sale at the Lux Row Distillers gift shop as well.

About the same time Lux Row opened their new distillery in Bardstown I had a chance to try one of the first iterations of the single barrel. At about $60, I thought it hung admirably with any other bourbon in that price range I had tried.

Can you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? Well…..no, but my best friend has no desire whatsoever to chew a silk purse, so I guess BOTH have their place in life.



Real roots, real family, real products: Lux Row Distillers – a new bourbon distillery experience on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – is a family-owned venture, bringing the Lux family history and spirits tradition to the bourbon industry. Lux Row Distillers is the home of Luxco’s bourbon brands, including Rebel Yell, Blood Oath, David Nicholson and Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbons.

Located in the heart of Bardstown, Kentucky, the 18,000-square foot Lux Row Distillers includes a visitor center, barrel warehouses, a tasting room, and event space, making for an all-encompassing bourbon experience. The 90-acre property is home to an 18th century stone house – which is registered as a National Historic Place – and a long, tree-lined driveway providing a scenic entrance to the distillery.

For more information about the distillery, visit www.luxrowdistillers.com. You can also like Lux Row Distillers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/luxrowdistillers or follow the distillery on Instagram @luxrowdistillers.