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Bourbon

Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon

$42.00

OVERALL
RATING

8

Whiskey Review: Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

About:
Wheated bourbon whiskey, 92 proof or 46% abv, high wheat mash with corn and barley. SRP $42 available at Bending Branch but offered in retail across Texas soon.
Appearance:
Deep caramel almost mahogany.
Nose:
Sweet with immediate notes of caramel, wheat, sugar, leather and dark oak notes. As the glass warms in my hand I am greeted with the familiar smell of alcohol, corn, and a young bourbon. My brain wants to find older more sophisticated notes because of the color, but they aren’t present.
Palate:
immediately tingles the tongue and has a delightful hit of spice in all the right ways. It quickly warms the chest without burning. As the mouth adjusts to the flavor I found brown sugar, smoke, wine tannins, pepper, toffee, with mild malt notes. Throughout the taste you find notes of oak, char, and cedar. The finish sits for a minute before dissipating. The flavors don’t evoke an immediate desire for a return sip, but they don’t discourage one either. It sits well on the tongue between sips.
Finish:
Comments:
Summary: My brain wants to find older more sophisticated notes because of the color, but they aren’t present. The color is like a 15+ year bourbon and I couldn’t get over the color for a little while. It all combines into a reasonably even sip with good balance. For a new, non-aged statement, sourced whiskey, this has some merit.rnrnThis would be a fun bottle to bring out for friends. The whiskey has a fun “pop” to the beginning before revealing more of the subtle notes towards the back end. It would pair nicely with just about anything and won’t steal the show with a meal or in a cocktail.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Bending Branch is a Comfort, Texas-based wine and spirits company. The winery, you read that correctly, winery was founded in 2009. Specializing in Tannat style wine, this Texas based winery recently began expanding into whiskey.

Bending Branch has two whiskey labels, Bending Branch 1840 and Chickenduck. 1840 has a high rye bourbon and a four grain bourbon. The Chicken Duck has a high rye bourbon and a wheated bourbon.

So what is Chickenduck? As the brand explains it, “ChickenDuck is serious bourbon that is purposefully crafted differently. It is named after two of the original chickens and ducks that roamed the vineyard managing pests and entertaining guests. Continuing Bending Branch Winery’s expertise in innovative techniques, the ChickenDuck bourbons use an advanced extraction technology that give them the qualities of bourbons that are aged for multiple years. 100% of the aging of these bourbons takes place on the property in Comfort.

“The environmental impact of ChickenDuck is less than traditional bourbon whiskeys because of the extraction technology, reduction in barrel storage time and associated costs, and it’s almost complete reduction in evaporation loss (“Angel’s Share”) compared to bourbons aged a minimum of four years.”

This review will focus on the Chickenduck high wheat bourbon. The bottle has a rather adorable cartoon of a chicken with a monocle and a duck in a bowler hat. The whiskey is 92 proof, or 46% abv, with no age statement or mash bill indicated. Turning the bottle around it states, “distilled in Indiana, aged in Texas.” Which means there is a short list of potential distillers for this product. Which, as I’ve stated before, should not be a knock against any brand. There is a great deal of nuance which goes into a sourced whiskey and blending.

With that, we turn to the glass.

Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon review
We review Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon, distilled in Indiana and aged in Texas by a Texan winery. (image via Bending Branch)

Tasting Notes: Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon

Vital Stats: Wheated bourbon whiskey, 92 proof or 46% abv, high wheat mash with corn and barley. SRP $42 available at Bending Branch but offered in retail across Texas soon.

Appearance: Deep caramel almost mahogany.

Nose: Sweet with immediate notes of caramel, wheat, sugar, leather and dark oak notes. As the glass warms in my hand I am greeted with the familiar smell of alcohol, corn, and a young bourbon. My brain wants to find older more sophisticated notes because of the color, but they aren’t present.

Taste: immediately tingles the tongue and has a delightful hit of spice in all the right ways. It quickly warms the chest without burning. As the mouth adjusts to the flavor I found brown sugar, smoke, wine tannins, pepper, toffee, with mild malt notes. Throughout the taste you find notes of oak, char, and cedar. The finish sits for a minute before dissipating. The flavors don’t evoke an immediate desire for a return sip, but they don’t discourage one either. It sits well on the tongue between sips.

Charles Steele

Charles Steele is a Portland area attorney, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His legal education affords him an analytical approach to understanding whiskey and other aged spirits. Traditionally a legal writer, freelancing for The Whiskey Wash will prove a unique opportunity to flex his writing skills. Although he prefers whiskey and whiskey based cocktails, he has a profound affection for all unique and strange liquors from Malort to Ojen, if it's odd he wants it.

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