Leeds Hosts Regional ‘Bourbon Battle’ and Crowns the North of England’s Best Bourbon Bartender
A gruelling regional ‘Bourbon Battle’ that took place at The Lost and Found in Leeds, hosted by handcrafted Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Rebel Yell has declared Lewis Parry to be the North of England’s Best Bourbon Bartender – making him one step closer to a dream trip to Kentucky.
With a place secured at the UK’s final ‘Bourbon Battle’ in London on June 17th, if Lewis proves successful, he will be heading to Lux Row Distillers in Kentucky, US where Rebel Yell is distilled. Here, amidst the backdrop of the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Lewis will compete in the global competition final which takes place on September 19th.
Pitted against three other bartender hopefuls, Lewis shook it out at The Lost and Found in Leeds where each stepped up to create their ‘Lucky 7s’ combination – a Rebel Yell-based cocktail using no more than seven ingredients and taking no longer than seven minutes to make.
Judges included Michele Reina (Rebel Yell European Brand Ambassador), Ben Holmes (Brand Ambassador at Finest Call & Re’al) and Steve Rush (Founder of The Whisky Wire) who rated each semi-finalist’s cocktail against the following criteria: appearance; aroma; creativity; taste and overall impression.
Having honed his cocktail-making skills at The Curious Cat in Grimsby, Lewis’ ‘Rebel Road’ serve is a drink created about adventure, about living life to the fullest and with a little luck getting to where we want to be. Rebel Road expresses the fruitiness and smoothness of Rebel Yell with a spritz of life and zest with its carefully chosen ingredients. Lewis explains: “I used flavours of coconut for texture and a feel of the tropics, Agave syrup for a subtle earthy sweetness and finished with English Sparkling wine for a classic apple and malic zest to really make the drink pop.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have made it through the regional semi-finals and be going on to represent the North of England at the national Bourbon Battle! Wish me luck for the next stage, I can hear Kentucky calling!”
The winner of the overall competition will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime grand prize of hand-selecting a Rebel Yell barrel – equivalent to 60 x bottles – with Master Blender and Head Distiller, John Rempe, at Lux Row Distillers, to take home.
John Rempe says: “The quality of entries has been phenomenal this year and it’s so encouraging to see this level of talent across the bartending board. The semi finalists all showed amazing creativity and flair when it came to their serves but Lewis’ had that extra ‘wow’ factor that I’m sure will stand him in excellent stead when it comes to the UK final.”
Fellow contestants Jack Worrall, from The Curious Cat, Grimsby, Nick Brown, from The Primary, Leicester and Beth Daniels from the Lost and Found, Leeds left with a bottle of Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight and branded goodies including hats and hipflasks.
Follow @RebelYellBourbonUK on Instagram and Facebook for Bourbon Battle updates.
‘The Rebel Road’
- 40ml Rebel Yell Straight Kentucky Bourbon
- 20ml Briottet Coco Liqueur
- 1 bar spoon Re’al coco
- 10ml Agave Surup
- 1/3 Pipette Miracle Foamer
- Topped with English Sparkling Wine (Bolney)
Method: Shake and fine strain ingredients into a flute glass. Garnish with desiccated coconut.
Made using only the choicest ingredients, pure limestone-filtered water and charred new white oak barrels for ageing, Rebel Yell boasts a honey raisin scent and a long, warm finish. A full-bodied whiskey with honey, butter and a hint of dark fruits, including plum and raisins, gives this wheated bourbon a unique style that is perfectly balanced for cocktails or simply served on the rocks.
Boasting 170 years of heritage, Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has been produced to the same recipe since it was launched by the W.L. Weller family back in 1849. Now owned by Luxco and distilled by Lux Row Distillers, it is one of only a few select wheated bourbons produced today.
The full range available in the UK consists of Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Rye, Small Batch Reserve, 10-Year-Old (limited availability), Ginger, Honey and Cherry and is available through most routes to market including Matthew Clark (extended list) and LWC. Rebel Yell can also be purchased online through Amazon, Master of Malt and Whisky Exchange.