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The history of this Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey brand dates back to the mid-1900s. It was created for Stitzel-Weller in this era by former mayor of Louisville, Charles R. Farnsley, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the original Weller company. He named it ‘Rebel Yell’ in reference to the Confederate war cry. It was officially introduced as a registered brand in 1936. Initially it was distilled in limited batches for exclusive distribution in the southern United States. However, following the break-up of Stitzel-Weller around 1972, the brand was purchased by Luxco (or the David Sherman Corporation, as it was known back then), who still own the Rebel Yell brand to this day. By 1984, Rebel Yell was distributed nationally. As Luxco does not own any distilleries itself, the spirit is one of many that is produced by Heaven Hill, at its Bernheim distillery in Louisville. However, on January 10th, 2018 Luxco filled its first barrel at its new Bardstown distillery, Lux Row Distillers, so it’s likely that Rebel Yell bourbon will be produced there in the future. The fantastic Billy Idol song ‘Rebel Yell’ was inspired by the brand. In his episode of VH1 Storytellers, Idol revealed that he had enjoyed swigs from a bottle of the brand’s core expression with self-proclaimed avid fan Keith Richards and bandmates Mick Jagger and Ron Wood (from The Rolling Stones, if you ceased to take part in existence for the last 50 years and have emerged into the world only to read a bio of a bourbon brand). Idol liked the sound of the brand name so much that he asked Jagger and Richards if they had any objections if he used the brand name for a future song title. I’m not sure that they actually had the right to grant such a blessing, but we’re sure glad they did. It really is a great song.

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