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Bourbon

Chicken Cock Chanticleer

$499.99

OVERALL
RATING

10

Whiskey Review: Chicken Cock Chanticleer

Tasting Notes:

About:
Appearance:
Mahogany-copper with extremely slow and thin legs.
Nose:
You can smell this in the glass before you put it to your nose. Warm and smooth oak, like a rick house on a warm day. With the nose above the glass, we get sweet notes of maple, pine, Cognac, red wine grapes, and some orange chocolate. After a beat there are more subtle notes of leather, honey, and alcohol.
Palate:
Right out of the gate there is a nice punch of flavor. The first sip almost overwhelms the senses, and you must ride it out. It’s a great primer to revisit the whisky. With a second taste we are enveloped in Cognac sweetness, a dark complex sugar of fine wine. It molds to the tongue to bring out the sweetness we found in the nose. I found oak, cherries, semi-dark chocolate, and dates. The dry mouthfeel becomes a long finish, one of the longest I’ve had in a while. The aftertaste evolves beautifully the longer you let the whiskey evaporate off your palate. There is a warming of the chest without burning, and a lovely profile sitting on the back of the throat.
Finish:
Comments:
This whiskey is a hit. I often doubt myself regarding the whiskeys that I like. A creeping thought which tells me I only like super sweet, non-complex, bourbon whiskey and I can’t appreciate complex, non-sweet whiskey. This whiskey quiets that part of my brain. This is a sharp, semi-sweet whiskey with a terrific profile and wonderful complexity.rnrnThis whiskey does a lot of things right and puts a great deal of talent on display. It may not be for every drinker, but it really hit the mark for me.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Chicken Cock Whiskey. 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.

This year marks the second release in Chicken Cock’s limited-edition holiday release series. This is a no age statement whiskey finished in French Cognac cask. Cognac is a distilled spirit aged in French oak barrels. Last year, Chicken Cock commemorated their relationship to the famous Cotton Club, and this year they honor the long standing friendship between the United States and France.

Legend has it the name bourbon comes from the French aristocratic family, the Bourbons. As any history buff will tell you, Americans owe a sizeable debt of gratitude to the French for their help during our Revolutionary War — and arguably again during the American Civil war when the French remained neutral and did not aid or fund the Confederacy by breaking the Union blockade. One may not want to look too closely at who the House of Bourbon was rooting for, however.

In keeping with history and paying homage to legacy, “The Famous Old Brand” is releasing this whiskey in a commemorative Prohibition era tin and replica apothecary-style bottle, which honors the way Chicken Cock was smuggled across the Canadian border to the U.S. during Prohibition. If you’re not familiar with “The Famous Old Brand,” that’s okay.

The brand was originally founded in 1856 and literally burned to the ground a century later. It was resurrected in 2012 by Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits. The whiskey is created in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Company in Kentucky. It is always hard to restart. Limited releases and designer bottles can feel almost like a necessity to get people to pick up the product.

Although no age statement is provided, we know only 32 barrels were produced. The mash bill is 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. The whiskey comes in a 112 proof, or 56% alcohol. On paper that all sounds like a sweet spot. I anticipate a sweet whiskey with a decent “pop” of spice. Finally, finishing this whiskey in Cognac, which can impart a mature softness to a whiskey, tells me this has the trappings to be a very interesting bourbon. With that, we turn to the glass.

Chicken Cock Chanticleer review
Chicken Cock Chanticleer (image via Charles Steele/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Chicken Cock Chanticleer Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Vital Stats: Kentucky straight bourbon finished in French Cognac barrels. 112 proof or 56% ABV. Mash bill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. MSRP $499.99.

Appearance: Mahogany-copper with extremely slow and thin legs.

Nose: You can smell this in the glass before you put it to your nose. Warm and smooth oak, like a rick house on a warm day. With the nose above the glass, we get sweet notes of maple, pine, Cognac, red wine grapes, and some orange chocolate. After a beat there are more subtle notes of leather, honey, and alcohol.

Taste: Right out of the gate there is a nice punch of flavor. The first sip almost overwhelms the senses, and you must ride it out. It’s a great primer to revisit the whisky. With a second taste we are enveloped in Cognac sweetness, a dark complex sugar of fine wine. It molds to the tongue to bring out the sweetness we found in the nose. I found oak, cherries, semi-dark chocolate, and dates. The dry mouthfeel becomes a long finish, one of the longest I’ve had in a while.

The aftertaste evolves beautifully the longer you let the whiskey evaporate off your palate. There is a warming of the chest without burning, and a lovely profile sitting on the back of the throat.

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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