Chicken Cock 15 Year Old Barrel Proof Bourbon Review Header

Chicken Cock 15 Year Old Barrel Proof Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Steve Coomes1 Comment

Chicken Cock 15 Year Barrel Proof Bourbon Bottle Photo
This powerhouse 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we bottled at barrel proof, displays an amazing array of complex flavors. It was well worth the wait.”
Gregg Snyder, Master Distiller

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

Chicken Cock 15 Year Old Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Produced by Chicken Cock Whiskey. The bourbon is sourced from an undisclosed distillery in Kentucky.

  • MASH BILL: 78.5% Corn  |  13% Rye  |  8.5% Malted Barley

  • AGE: 15 years

  • YEAR: 2020

  • PROOF: 114 Proof (57% ABV)

  • MSRP: $299

  • BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com

NOSE: Toffee | Toasted Oak | Bruléed Sugar | Burnt Orange | Dried Flowers

TASTE: Honey-to-Dark Caramel entry | Oak | Milk Chocolate-to-Cocoa Exit

FINISH: Long and warm, a touch drying, just as you’d expect from a 15-year bourbon

SHARE WITH: Fans of old bourbon with solid structure and age

WORTH THE PRICE: Not at $299.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar.

OVERALL: This is a swell whiskey. It’s balanced, bold—even muscular—and pretty much what a properly aged 15-year-old bourbon should taste like. Some sourced whiskey shows the talent or luck of the barrel hunter, so let’s call Grain & Barrel Spirits’ master distiller Gregg Snyder talented. It’s delicious. Ironically, I had this same whiskey from a full bottle bought by a friend, and it did little for me. A month later, I got a sample bottle from Chicken Cock, and it was praiseworthy. Go figure. I have no explanation for it.

Only 1,350 bottles of it were produced, so there’s some rarity value in it. But the MSRP is simply too high for me to justify when I’ve had other 15-year releases that were just as pleasing for 1/6th the cost (multiple Knob Creek 120 proofs, just in case you’re wondering.) But we’re amid a bourbon boom, and hair-raising heyday prices are all too common. But if you’re in the mood for a bar splurge, and there’s a few inches headspace in that bottle, order it if you don’t feel over charged.


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Grain & Barrel Spirits Launches Chicken Cock Master Distiller’s Pick 15-Year-Old Limited-Edition Holiday Barrel Proof Release

BARDSTOWN, Ky.— Grain & Barrel Spirits has introduced Chicken Cock Master Distiller’s Pick, a 15-year-old limited-edition Barrel Proof release, just in time for the holiday season. For this special expression, Master Distiller Gregg Snyder handpicked 10 of the brand’s best and oldest barrels, sampling them periodically during the finishing process to evaluate the spectacular transformation. He determined that the flavor combinations reached their peak in the barrel at 114-proof (57% ABV).

Featuring a mash bill of 78.5% corn, 13% rye and 8.5% malted barley, this expression was non-chill filtered and bottled in an original pre-prohibition Chicken Cock replica glass bottle, which includes a metal overcap. Only 1,350 bottles of this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey are available, which bourbon aficionados can find online or at fine establishments throughout Kentucky. The suggested retail price for a 750ml bottle is $300.00.

“This powerhouse 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we bottled at barrel proof, displays an amazing array of complex flavors,” said Snyder. “It was well worth the wait.”


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Tasting Notes:

  • APPEARANCE: Beautiful, rich, deep dark auburn with long, slow legs in the glass
  • AROMA: Wonderful aromas of toasted oak, dark chocolate covered cherries, spice and slight citrus, with a hint of leather
  • TASTE: Exquisite and complex sweet caramel, vanilla bean, butterscotch, dried dark fruit (figs/raisins), and pleasant bittersweet chocolate flavors on the palate
  • FINISH: long and delightful with hints of honey, pepper and cinnamon, complimented by soft oak lactones with just the right amount of dryness to enhance the sweet elements, all contained within a firm barrel proof “Kentucky hug” all the way down.

Established in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky, Chicken Cock rose to fame as the house whiskey at The Cotton Club, one of Prohibition’s most legendary speakeasies. Known as “The Famous Old Brand” and “The Whiskey in a Tin Can,” Chicken Cock was smuggled into the Club in sealed tin cans, then ceremoniously opened table-side. After Prohibition, the brand enjoyed a resurgent couple of decades before a distillery fire just after World War II put it out of business. In 2012, Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits, rediscovered the brand and set out to resurrect it to its Prohibition-era glory. Master Distiller Gregg Snyder was enlisted to provide the knowledge and experience needed to help achieve that goal.


Disclaimer: Chicken Cock provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sr. Contributor | | Website

Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 29-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.
Read Steve's full profile.

About the Author

Steve Coomes

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Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 29-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter. Read Steve's full profile.

  • Ryan says:

    I appreciate the knob creek nod, it’s true, even from knob creek, are the really better?