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The Fighting Cock review

The Fighting Cock review

Company: Heaven Hill
Vol: 51.5%
Age: NAS
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: Unknown (but the secondary grain of rye is probably between 10-13%)
Price: c. £35

History

Regular readers, who would now usually be settling down to hear Mr Pie pontificate historical facts, are in for some very short shrift in this review. Extensive research (no, not only Google, we mean actual reference books) didn’t deliver many interesting facts and figures at all. Originally introduced as a direct competitor to Wild Turkey 101, it was deliberately promoted as being the higher proof bourbon at an impressive 103 proof. Up until 2015 it was also age stated as 6 years but, as the Gents seem to be regularly reporting on a lot of bourbons these days, the Fighting Cock Distilling Company could no longer guarantee this minimum age for the whiskey and today it is a marriage of bourbons aged between 2 and 6 years.

Unbelievably we’ve manged to get through to the second paragraph of this review without actually mentioning the absolutely fantastic name (Hey you, no sniggering at the back there!). 'Fighting Cock' - a spunky, take no prisoners kind of name for a bourbon. It certainly catches your eye and ensures you take a second look, either on the shelves or at those whiskey websites. The bottle is a pretty standard affair with a screw top (please don’t tell Mav) and has a somewhat cartoonish image of a cockerel emblazoned on the label, it could also be mistaken for a poor man’s Eagle Rare unless you're in the know.

The ‘kickin chicken’ (its other pseudonym) is regularly referred to in its home country as a bottom shelf bourbon and is obtainable for as little as 20 American dollars. This awesome price as you will very soon find out comes as a complete shock to the Gents! Read on……………

The Review:

For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass.

Nose

What we got – Oodles of dark chocolate and caramel, quite a dry woody aroma (if you can actually nose that). You can most definitely pick out the high corn ratio in the mash bill

What they say we should get - Spiced aromas - creamy fresh vanilla, a little stewed fruit, melted butter and oak

Palate

What we got – The chocolate follows through alongside the oak with a strong, spicy and punchy bold flavour. It is full of caramel goodness

What they say we should get - Molasses, Demerara sugar and cereal sweetness. Becomes rich with butterscotch and cedar

Finish

What we got – It’s a triple hit with the chocolate all the way through to the medium to long finish

What they say we should get - Cinnamon pastries and golden syrup

Summary

With it’s higher than average ABV, this bourbon is often recommended to be used for cocktails but we feel that it holds up exceptionally well on its own and is without any doubt a solid, robust bourbon which will simply not let you down.

Mr Pie was lucky enough to be able to try a sample of the original 6 year old offering and during the recording of our Bourbon of the Year 2017 podcast BOTY 2017 he persuaded Mav to revisit and dust off the no age statement bottle sitting on his shelf. The rest is Bourbon Gents history as it went on to secure tenth place in the final list and became a firm favourite for the Gents. It was also awarded 3rd place in our Top 10 Bourbons under £50 article posted earlier this year.

For us, Fighting Cock is bourbon well under the radar and deserves so much more exposure to the masses. For around about £35 it is not what you would call bottom shelf bourbon in the UK but the Gents implore you to grab yourself a bottle (a sample at least) and prepare yourself to become a member of the Fighting Cock Appreciation Society.

Score

8 out of 10 - Mav

8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie

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