Chicken Cock’s Holiday Bourbon Offering A Rare 15 Year Old Whiskey

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / November 17, 2020

The Chicken Cock American whiskey label, owned by Grain & Barrel Spirits and operating out of Kentucky, is known, among other reasons, for the use of its sharp looking bottles that are replicas of older design. Its latest offering, a 15 year old bourbon, fits especially into this mold with its bottle look and rarer whiskey designation.

The new Chicken Cock Master Distiller’s Pick, according to those behind it, is a 15 year old bourbon that’s being released as a special holiday offering. It is being released as a barrel proof expression that is limited edition in nature, being bottled at 114 proof and made from a mash bill of 78.5% corn, 13% rye and 8.5% malted barley.

Chicken Cock Master Distiller's Pick

Chicken Cock Master Distiller’s Pick (image via Grain & Barrel Spirits)

It is said of this release that master distiller Gregg Snyder “handpicked 10 of the brand’s best and oldest barrels, sampling them periodically during the finishing process to evaluate the spectacular transformation.” It is housed in an original pre-prohibition Chicken Cock replica glass bottle, which includes a metal overcap.

Only 1,350 bottles of this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey are being made available, pricing around $300 per 750 ml bottle. You’ll find official tasting notes at the end of this article. For the curious, the Chicken Cock name was originally established in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky, rising to fame as the house whiskey at The Cotton Club, one of Prohibition’s most legendary speakeasies. Known as ‘The Famous Old Brand’ and ‘The Whiskey in a Tin Can,’ Chicken Cock was smuggled into the Club in sealed tin cans, then ceremoniously opened table-side.

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“After Prohibition, the brand enjoyed a resurgent couple of decades before a distillery fire just after World War II put it out of business. In 2012, Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits, rediscovered the brand and set out to resurrect it to its Prohibition-era glory.”

  • Appearance: beautiful, rich, deep dark auburn with long, slow legs in the glass
  • Aroma: wonderful aromas of toasted oak, dark chocolate covered cherries, spice and slight citrus, with a hint of leather 
  • Taste: exquisite and complex sweet caramel, vanilla bean, butterscotch, dried dark fruit (figs/raisins), and pleasant bittersweet chocolate flavors on the palate
  • Finish: long and delightful with hints of honey, pepper and cinnamon, complimented by soft oak lactones with just the right amount of dryness to enhance the sweet elements, all contained within a firm barrel proof “Kentucky hug” all the way down. 

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