The shift in bourbon-drinking demographics is forcing brands to rethink product development. Case in point, the recently introduced 92-proof Chicken Cock Double Oak Kentucky Whiskey.
“It appears today’s demographic of whiskey drinkers has expanded to a much broader range of age and genders,” explains Master Distiller Gregg Snyder. “Many of those drinkers are looking for more flavorful whiskies, which is why double-oaked and barrel-finished whiskies are doing extremely well in the market.” He continues, “The second barreling in new charred white oak barrels enhanced the flavor tremendously, providing a much deeper, much fuller flavor profile and allowing the caramel, vanilla, and desirable oak lactones to really pop on the palate.”
This new release is aged first in used barrels for seven years before transferring into new white American oak barrels for another 18 months. In a recent press release from the brand, Chicken Cock’s current owner, Matti Antilla, explains the brand’s ideology. “You can’t have great whiskey without great wood, and this expression is the perfect marriage of age and wood. That’s why we aged our eight-year-old whiskey in American oak barrels twice. This process allows us to extract all the great flavor within the oak to create a robust and intriguing sipper that’s likely to not last long on the shelves.”
Chicken Cock’s History
Part of the Charleston, S.C.-based Grain & Barrel Spirits portfolio, this cheeky brand throws it all the way back to 1856 when original founder James A. Miller established Chicken Cock in Kentucky (rumor has it, naming the whole shebang after the rooster feathers he used as swizzle-sticks). Revived in 2012 by Anttila with efforts now overseen by Snyder and produced straight out of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Collaborative Distilling Program, Chicken Cock hangs its hat on two signature products — a Kentucky Straight Bourbon and a Kentucky Straight Rye, while also turning out some innovative limited releases on the side.
The new release’s heavy glass bottle is a real looker with an etched sunburst pattern, setting high expectations for what’s within. Happily, the juice delivers, luring imbibers in with a beguiling perfume of vanilla, burnished ginger, and snickerdoodle. The first sip comes in a bit hot but mellows quickly into a pleasantly warm glow, revealing nicely balanced notes of honey, graham cracker, and candied apple. The sweet, nearly creamy finish bounces around on the tongue and top of the palate for a minute before reluctantly letting go. Don’t bother with mixers here; maybe just a few drops of water or a single ice cube (if you must).
I highly recommend finding this beauty if you can. It’s well worth the expenditure.
You can read several more of Amy “Whiskey” Lynch’s bourbon reviews here and here.