Fighting Cock Bourbon Review

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By Father John Rayls

Rating: B

Fighting Cock Bourbon

Fighting Cock Bourbon
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Putting all jokes aside, the name “Fighting Cock” grabs your attention, and leaves plenty of room for marketing gurus to really exploit the opportunity. That very effect is sure to be a turn off for some, as it was for me, as I had always previously managed to dismiss Fighting Cock as a mere gimmick, and this despite its Heaven Hill origin.

I recently ran out of excuses, however, and decided to give this extremely low cost bourbon a shot (pun intended). However, a funny thing happened on the way to writing this review: I found I actually enjoyed it.

The Bourbon
Fighting Cock is an NAS (no age statement) bourbon, but does fall within the guidelines of being a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This means that it spent at least two years in barrels somewhere in Kentucky, and is reportedly a blend of two to six year old whiskey.

You can’t talk about Fighting Cock without talking about the logo found on the bottle, with its picture of a fighting rooster in fighting mode. Some love it and some hate it, and combined with the screw-on cap it suggests something that is low budget, but full of attitude.

The liquid is colorful and depicts a bottle full of attitude without a lot of cost. The bourbon is on the darker side of burnt orange in color with brown and brass hues. The legs are long and plentiful and appear fairly quickly.

The nose is readily apparent, but absent any alcohol burn normally expected in a low cost whiskey. Corn aromas are immediately detected, with a bit of rye spiciness along with some oak and leather lingering in the background. The combined aromas are interesting and enjoyable.

The first sip gives a slight coating to the mouth with most of the action taking place at mid-tongue to near the tip. The sweet corn influenced heavily by caramel, vanilla, oak and nuttiness drives the flavor profile. Fighting Cock, at 103 proof, drinks slightly hot. Somehow this manages not to be a negative thing and simply enhances the experience. It serves, instead, to balance the slightly sweet taste and helps create a very enjoyable and very drinkable bourbon. The finish is medium to long filled with spice and nuttiness.

The Price
Now for one of the very best parts of this experience. I bought a 750ml bottle for $16 bucks and change. My guess is that Wild Turkey 101 will now battle Fighting Cock (103) for supremacy in the 100+ proof, bang for your buck category, and I like that imagery.

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