Chicken Cock 8 Year Old Bourbon Review

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Updated December 1, 2017

By Richard Thomas

Rating: B

Chicken Cock 8 Year Old Bourbon

Chicken Cock 8 Year Old Bourbon
(Credit: Richard Thomas)

Chicken Cock is one of the oldest brand names in Bourbon history, established before the Civil War in the county seat of none other than Bourbon County itself, Paris. Nowadays, only Hartfield and Co. hang their hat there and Chicken Cock is a sourced brand, relaunched in 2013 and owned by Grain and Barrel Spirits, a subsidiary of Island Club Brands.

To mark the 160th anniversary of the brand, they have released an 8 year old straight, single barrel Bourbon spiffy, Edwardian-styled bottle. A total of 30 barrels have been chosen for bottling in this limited edition. The stock comes from in MGP in Indiana, aged in Owensboro, Kentucky in barrels that were charred to #4 on the staves and #2 on the heads.

An interesting point here is that the whiskey was made from a mash bill of 70% Corn, 21% Rye, 9% Malted Barley, but MGP’s standard recipe for 21% Rye Bourbon uses slightly more corn and slightly less barley. A representative for Grain and Barrel Spirits confirmed for me that the recipe in question was non-standard.

The Bourbon
Chicken Cock describes itself as shooting for a lighter whiskey with its regular products, and the look of this 8 year old single barrel Bourbon is certainly in keeping with that intent. For a moderately well aged, 90 proof Bourbon it has a decidedly orange tint to it, not even amber but more a light copper. Basically, it looks more like a Rye. Yet the liquid itself is not very light, leaving a viscous coat on the glass that drops just a few, slow-moving legs.

The aroma I picked up was predominantly spicy and woody. A light, airy with of pepper, mint and cinnamon hovering over dry, toasty wood. This one certainly came from odd barrel, which was not all that sweet, and this dry spicy character persisted even after I aired the contents of the pour for time.

On the palate, the whiskey had a creamy texture and continued in its atypical, not at all sweet vein. It was quite dry, woody and spicy. The finish was dry and the touch warm.

After writing my notes, I went looking for what other people wrote about Chicken Cock 8 Year Old. I saw some reflection of my experience, but my take was drier and spicier. Insofar as I am aware, they have only released the first barrel thus far, so different strokes, different folks. I think this is quite outside the typical Bourbon profile, but is certainly the kind of thing that lovers of a dry, high rye style would appreciate.

The Price
This item fetches $100.

* Update: Grain and Barrel have told us that barrels three through six are currently in distribution.

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