Whiskey Review: Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blonde

, | July 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Grain and Barrel. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Chicken Cock Bourbon, originally crafted by James A. Miller, was the gold standard of pre-prohibition Kentucky bourbon. Much imitated, both in marketing and in flavor, but few contended with the legacy built from Mr. Miller’s iconic brand. Though it did not survive much past prohibition, the brand and the process have been resurrected by Grain and Barrel Spirits.

Building upon the legend of the original recipe,Grain and Barrel, in collaboration with Goodwood Brewing in Louisville, KY, have envisioned a product beyond the traditional bourbon formula with Chicken Cock, Ryeteous Blonde. The question I would ask anyone that builds their name on someone else’s legacy, is what are you doing to not only honor the past, but to enrich the present and look towards the future?

Grain and Barrel Spirits is a smart company. Their signature vodka, Dixie Vodka, is the official vodka of NASCAR. When they wanted to venture into the world of whiskey, they turned to a dormant brand and breathed fresh life into, not only bringing back the legacy branding, but pushing forward with such experiments and collaborations as today’s feature, Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blonde.

The Ryeteous Blonde is a limited batch release with only six barrels bottled. This rye clocks in at 90 proof and is distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky. First barrels used to age the Chicken Cock Bourbon were provided to Goodwood Brewing to age their blonde ale. When that process was done, the barrels were given back and filled with straight rye, resulting in the Ryeteous Blonde.

Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blonde

Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blonde (image via Grain & Barrel Spirits)

Tasting Notes: Chicken Cock Ryeteous Blonde

Vital Statistics: mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted rye; bottled at 90 proof; non-chill filtered; priced around $90 per 750 ml bottle.

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Nose: The most prominent note that hit me with my first whiffs was ripe banana. This was followed by the dry scent of saw dust and just a hint of varnish.

Palette: Like the nose, I was hit with the soft sweetness of banana toffee from the get-go. The texture was buttery with a prickly heat that lingered and distracted me for a moment while I investigated for further flavors. After a minute I found that grains and oats came to the surface, accompanied by a distinct oakiness. Finally, on the end I noticed the light herbaceous hint of hops that made their way into the final flavor.

The Takeaway
3

Summary

This is not the first rye I would reach for but it does make for an interesting conversation piece. I appreciate the creative expression of this collaboration but found it missed the mark for me when it comes to more traditional rye flavors that I tend to look for.

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John Dover

As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch”, John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and...