Chicken Cock Aims To Kicks Off Summer With Rum Cask Finished Whiskey

| May 19, 2022

Chicken Cock is kicking off what they’re calling the “Summer of the Rooster” with a limited-edition release of Island Rooster Rum Barrel Rye.

The new expression starts with Chicken Cock’s Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey and is finished in Caribbean rum casks for at least six months. Island Rooster was inspired by a trip to the Caribbean, where the distillers found roosters announcing every new morning.

Island Rooster’s mash bill is 95% rye and 5% malted barley, and the liquid is bottled at 95 proof (47.5% ABV) in an apothecary-style embossed bottle with a metal cup cap.

Island Rooster Rum Barrel Rye

Island Rooster Rum Barrel Rye (image via Chicken Cock)

“Summer is the ideal season for Chicken Cock to take traditional indoor whiskey drinking occasions outside, and Island Rooster’s rum barrel finish makes this a whiskey you’ll want to throw in your pack as you head outdoors,” said Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits, which owns Chicken Cock, in a prepared statement.

Chicken Cock Island Rooster Rum Barrel Rye was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the whiskey’s production was limited to just 25 barrels.

It has a suggested retail price of about $200 for a 750ml bottle, available on Chicken Cock’s website, through Reserve Bar, or at retailers in CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, NY, SC, TN, TX, and WI.

Chicken Cock Island Rooster Rum Barrel Rye distiller’s notes:

  • Color: Dark amber.
  • Aroma: An array of spices, pepper, with a hint of rye grassiness and sweet molasses touched with oak overtones.
  • Flavor: A complexity of spices, vanilla, butterscotch and pepper, complemented by rum sweetness.
  • Finish: Long, with the rye characteristics predominant but enhanced with a touch of sweet, and a buttery mouthfeel.
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Originally established in Paris, Kentucky in 1856, Chicken Cock – known as “The Famous Old Brand” – was forced to move production up to Canada during Prohibition, according to those behind the brand. The Canadian rye whiskey produced during that period was then smuggled back into the U.S. in tin cans, earning the brand the nickname, “the whiskey in a tin can.”

After Prohibition, Chicken Cock resumed production for a couple of decades before a distillery fire just after World War II put it out of business. In 2012, Anttila resurrected the brand to what’s described as its Prohibition-era standards, alongside Master Distiller Gregg Snyder.

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Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...