Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Rebel Yell Bourbon and Cellar Trends, have announced the winner of their first ‘Rebel Your Cocktail’ competition, which will see it’s winner heading off to the 25th Kentucky Bourbon Festival, in September.

Thom Solberg from the Black Rock bar in Shoreditch, has been named the winner of the competition, which saw bartenders from across London compete in five heats, which led to the grand final at MASH in Soho on Monday.

'Rebel Your Cocktail' Competition Winner: Thom Solberg

The winning cocktail by Thom Solberg: Bakken (name inspired by one of the largest oil fields in the US) comprised of: 50ml Rebel Yell bourbon, 15ml Amaro Angostura. 10ml Velvet Falernum, 5ml walnut oil and the zest of half a lime.

Commenting on his winning cocktail, Thom Solberg, said: “My personal act of rebellion was to shake up the cocktail – needed due to the oiI. Whereas at my bar Black Rock, all our whisky cocktails are stirred.  But there is harmony.  I chose the garnish so that every flavour in it reflects the nuances of taste within the Rebell Yell bourbon.”

The full finalists for this year’s inaugural competition were Harry Knox from Boulogne Bar in Kentish Town, L√ľkas Gotze from Three Six Six in Battersea, Milan Kresan from The Churchill Bar in Portman Square, Tertius Wharton from Opium in Chinatown and Thom Solberg from Black Rock in Shoreditch.

The judges for the final on Monday included Greg Mefford, International Sales Director at Luxco in the US, which owns Rebel Yell, along with the brands Master Blender John Rempe and whisky expert Dominic Roskrow.

Overall, a diversity of ingredients in the entrants’ ‘recipes for rebellion’ ranged from: banana liqueur, absinthe, 31 Year Old Armagnac, PX sherry, Chinato, peanut punch, seaweed to corn. 

Commenting on the competition, Caroline Pihoue, Marketing Manager for Rebel Yell at Cellar Trends, said: “The competition brought some really confident serves.  At times, one would think that the ingredients lined-up by the competitor would clash, but then came the magic.  Incredible aromas and taste sensations were matched with ultra-creative presentations.  We enjoyed discovering such creative mixes in this inspiring collection of bourbon cocktails, and thank all the bartenders for taking so much time to dream up and perfect their serves.  We especially thank the bars hosting the heats: MASH, Shaka Zulu, Milroy’s & The Vault, Whistling Shop and Three Six Six.”

The Rebel Yell campaign will continue with diary coverage of highlights of this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and a UK Tweet Tasting, hosted by Steve Rush at The Whisky Wire, which will take place on November 7th, the eve of the United States Presidential election.

Posted by Steve Rush