No matter which Rebel Yell you choose — Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Small Batch Reserve, Small Batch Rye, 10-year Single Barrel, American Whiskey, Root Beer, Ginger — their roots are the same: They’re all members of the glorious family of whiskey.
Here are the three best ways to sip:
The simplest method, neat means whiskey on its own, naked and unadorned. A clear, short glass will best showcase the whiskey’s amber color.
The perfect pour is “two fingers,” about two ounces. Once you pour, tilt the glass and watch the whiskey form a slow trail with its syrupy heft. Let the aroma curl towards you, like a sweet, potent perfume.
Your first sip explodes with riotous complexity. Years of aging and blending cross your tongue, then leave a radiant warmth in their wake.
Add a little water to your whiskey and wait for the surprise: The flavors of the whiskey actually become easier to taste.
You only need a few drops; adjust to taste. Mixologists call for bottled or filtered water, as tap has compounds that can affect the flavor. But tap’s not fatal.
Once the water’s in, gaze into the glass and prepare to trip out, as the whiskey swirls and eddies like a magic potion.
Lightly diluted, the drink retains all of the profound flavors of spice and charred oak, but in a buoyant manner that floats over your palate. Whiskey with water also makes the best pairing with food.
Something mystical happens when whiskey meets with ice. The herbal notes fade, and the bourbon’s masculine qualities arise, with the swagger of smoke and leather. Your first sip is bracingly cold, then it heats up, allowing the flavors of raisin and butterscotch to unfold.
A regular ice cube is fine, but you might take your cue from the pros and get a single large cube. This melts more slowly, for a drink that’s chilled but not watered down.