Showing posts with label Chicken Cock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken Cock. Show all posts

Friday, July 2, 2021

Chicken Cock 15-Year Barrel Proof Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


Chicken Cock may have a funny name, but it is a serious whiskey. It has a storied history, all of which you can read in my previous review of its standard-release Bourbon & Rye. 

Today I'm tasting its 15-year release, which is packaged at a cask strength of 114°.  While the distiller is unreleased, the mashbill is 78.5% corn, 13% rye, and 8.5% malted barley. The brand is owned by Grain & Barrel Spirits, and the 2020 release was only 1350 bottles. While Grain & Spirit is involved in a collaborative relationship with Bardstown Bourbon Company, but they wouldn't have a 15-year distillate, either.

You can expect to pay about $299.00 for a bottle if you can find it. Of course, the secondary market is its own universe. I obtained a sample from a friend who was curious what my thoughts were. Let's #DrinkCurious and learn what this is all about.

Appearance:  Served neat in my Glencairn glass, Chicken Cock 15 deep, dark copper in color with a medium-thick rim. The rim released fast, heavy legs that fell back to the pool.

Nose:  The aroma of cherry was like a punch in the schnozz. Beneath it was tobacco, vanilla, and citrus. When I took the aroma into my mouth, I felt like I was eating a dreamsicle. 

Palate:  The mouthfeel was oily and full-bodied, which offered flavors on the front of cherry, leather, and caramel. As it worked its way down, that changed to chocolate, plum, and citrus in an interesting but enjoyable sensation. 

Finish:  Long and lingering, the finish was smoky with leather, dry oak, cinnamon, and orange.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  While enjoyable, I can't see spending $300 or more on this Bourbon. I'm sure Grain & Barrel had a serious investment to procure these barrels, but that doesn't justify the price. You should drink this, but should do so at a Bar first, then decide if you want to make the investment. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Rye & Bourbon Reviews & Tasting Notes


If you hopped in a time machine and set it for 1856, you'd stumble on a brand new whiskey called Chicken Cock. Distilled in Paris, Kentucky, it had a rich history. Fast forward about 64 years, and you'd find Chicken Cock in speakeasies around the country during Prohibition, including the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. 

“During the prohibition period, you could always buy good whiskey from somebody in the Cotton Club. They used to have what they called Chicken Cock. It was a bottle in a can, and the can was sealed. It cost something like ten to fourteen dollars a pint.” - Duke Ellington

Then, in the 1950s, the distillery in Paris burned down, and the brand vanished into history. That is until it was resurrected in 2011 by Matti Anttila while he was researching older distilleries and he purchased the rights to the brand. His company, Grain & Barrel Spirits, entered into a collaborative distilling agreement with Bardstown Bourbon Company in 2017. 

The 13-year-old boy in me just adores the name. It is the holy grail of immature jokes. Will the mature (yeah, right) adult in me feel the same about the whiskies behind it? The only way to know for sure is to #DrinkCurious.

Before I get to the tasting notes, I'd like to thank Grain & Barrel Spirits for providing samples in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest reviews.  

First up is Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Rye.

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Rye starts with a mash of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. It then rests for at least two years.  Non-chill-filtered, it is diluted to 90° and has a suggested retail price of $69.99 for a 750ml bottle.

You may be wondering why the bottle is empty. Well, there was an accident during shipping, and while the bottle didn't break, it did crack and leak (but thankfully, not that much). I had to transfer the remainder to a decanter. This, of course, has no bearing at all on my rating.

Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, Chicken Cock presented as an unmistakable orange amber color. It produced a thinner rim, but with amazingly long, thick legs that fell back to the pool of liquid sunshine.

Nose:  I found Chicken Cock to be aromatic as it was oxidizing in my glass. The spearmint was obvious, but it was joined by citrus and root beer. When I inhaled through my lips, the root beer continued.

Palate:  The mouthfeel comprised of a medium body and was warming. On the front, unsweetened tea dominated, along with undertones of rye spice.  At mid-palate, I tasted dill, honey, and spearmint. Then, on the back, flavors of grapefruit and tobacco leaf competed with each other.

Finish:  The more I sipped, the longer the finish became. Overall, it wound up as what I'd describe as medium-long. Sweet tobacco leaf, cinnamon, mint, and grapefruit carried all the way through.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Strangely enough, I encountered no wood notes while tasting Chicken Cock Rye. Unfortunately, unsweetened tea and grapefruit are not my favorite flavors. I'm a fan of young Ryes, and Chicken Cock was far more mellow than others. It lacked any sharp notes, and, again, there was that lack of wood.  Someone who wants to pour a less-spicy Rye may find Chicken Cock desirable. My concern is with the price. The market is crowded with more mature Ryes for $70.00 or less. Chicken Cock isn't doing anything, in particular, to stand out and convince me to buy it. As such, I believe this one deserves a Bar rating. You'll want to try this one first before committing to a purchase. 

Next up is Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a blend of two mashbills. The first is 78% corn, 12% rye, and 10% malted barley. The second, older mash is 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley.  Non-chill-filtered, it is bottled at 90° and has a suggested retail price of $59.99 for a 750ml.  It carries no age statement, but we can assume since it is straight, it is at least two years old, and because there's no age statement, it is at least four.

Appearance:  The Bourbon was the color of dull gold. It created a thick rim that didn't hold the weight of the heavy, fast legs which crashed back to the pool of liquid sunshine.

Nose:  If bananas are your thing, you're going to love the nose on Chicken Cock Bourbon. The aroma was unmistakable. But, vanilla, corn, cherry, and plum weren't hidden, either. There was also an earthy quality that I couldn't quite nail down. When I drew the vapor into my mouth, the banana continued.

Palate:  A light, creamy mouthfeel greeted me as I took my first sip.  The front of my palate tasted caramel and corn. In the middle, it was butterscotch and apple. Oak, caramel and black pepper constructed the back.

Finish:  A medium-long finish started with caramel-coated apple, oak, and black pepper.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  This Bourbon is a very easy sipper. Nothing on the palate stole the show, and while there aren't a lot of notes, it seems to make sense. There is, however, nothing that particularly screams for attention. I would love to revisit this after a few more years in wood. Like the Rye, this Bourbon will get lost at its current price point. The Bar rating seems best for Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Chicken Cock 8 Year Single Barrel Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Chicken Cock. For many of my maturity level, the name at the very least makes you smile. But, truth be told, Chicken Cock is one of the oldest Bourbon labels around. Founded in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky, the label survived Prohibition before a fire devastated the distillery in the 1950s. Then, in 2013, the brand was relaunched by Grain and Barrel Spirits

Obviously, you don't start distilling and bottling right away. If you're going to bring something back to the market quickly and require an age statement, you're going to do that by bottling someone else's whiskey. In the case of Chicken Cock 8 Year, the source is MGP of Indiana. It was then aged in Owensboro, Kentucky. 

Made from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye and 9% malted barley, Chicken Cock is not the standard distillate from MGP.  While this is a single barrel Bourbon, there were 30 different barrels chosen, creating about 7200 bottles total. Each of the barrels had #4 char for the staves and #2 char for the heads.  Once dumped, they were diluted to 90° and retail was set at $100.00. As this was a special release to celebrate Chicken Cock's 160th anniversary in 2017, bottles are probably still out there but may be difficult to find.

But, the real question is, should you invest your time tracking it down?  I'll help answer that question now thanks to a friend who provided me a sample for review. Time to #DrinkCurious.

In my Glencairn glass, Chicken Cock presented as a bright coppery amber. It left a thin rim that generated a fat, wavy curtain that took its time dropping back to the pool of liquid sunshine

Aromas of caramel and mint greeted me initially.  Underneath those were oak and orange zest. When I inhaled through my lips, it was a blend of vanilla and oak.

A thin and oily mouthfeel got all over my palate. On the front, it was caramel, which led to oak mid-palate. On the back, it was peppery. This culminated in a medium-long finish of black pepper, charred oak, vanilla, and finally dry oak.

Bottle, Bar or Bust:  You'll notice there aren't a lot of notes, especially on the palate. That's not me being lazy, rather, there simply wasn't a lot going on. Chicken Cock was decent, but nothing special. It certainly is not a $100 Bourbon no matter what the company claims it is.  There are a lot of Bourbons and Ryes that cost a c-note and some even earn it. But, there is no way in my opinion to justify the cost. And, because the price way outweighs the value, I'm going to rate this one a Bust. Cheers!