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Drink Review: Fighting Cock Bourbon

Possessing the greatest name in American whiskey, bottled at a no-nonsense 103 US proof with an extra kick provided by the substitution of rye for wheat in the mash. What’s not to like?

Fighting Cock Bourbon Review:

Love the name. Love the design. Love the 103 proof.

I’ve not always been a fan of rye whiskeys (Metze’s, anyone?). But after finding some to be much more to my taste than I’d expected, I decided to give this one a try.

It poured a rich golden color, with just the lightest bit of tawny in it. The nose was of alcohol, vanilla, and cinnamon. Luxurious stuff. On the first sip, the rye was announced. Then the alcohol on the finish kicked in, quite a bit of it. The mouthfeel was a bit thin, and I knew I’d be having this on the rocks or with a bit of water. I added a few ice cubes and let one drop of water mix in.

The water added some of the missing body and opened up the rye and vanilla notes on the finish. Drinking this on the rocks or with a splash of water would make for an excellent sipping whiskey. The rye spiciness is usually my favorite part of any bourbon, and this is very spicy indeed. An intriguing whiskey, I’ll tell you that.

The green label is handsome, as is the cork-top. It’s nothing spectacular, but attractive and typical of the Fighting Cock line. This is quite a well-made bottle, too. A very good deal from my local $5-6 bottle shop.

It made for a fine drink at the end of a long day of work. Next time, though, I’ll probably reserve it for after dinner. I’m glad I tried it, for all the right reasons. But with better butterscotch notes and a body more in keeping with its proof and rye content, I’d have been more enthusiastic about it.

I will surely be trying the Fighting Cock Small Batch Bourbon, which seems to be the flagship product. It will also be interesting to try a Fighting Cock bottle that is overproof, instead of just over 100 proof for average drinks.

I’m not sure which way to go on this one. 3 stars seem appropriate. But it’s a well-made bottle that comes at a good price. It might even be one to pull out for a holiday party or for people who, when sampling a drop of bourbon, say “oie!”.

Great bourbon for the price. This is the cheapest Fighting Cock and it still has a wonderful flavor that compliments rather than overwhelms. Definitely worth a try.

 

Written by Mark Adams

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