As the weather cools and the sun makes itself scarce, my choice in beverage leans towards the warming comfort of whiskey. As I watch the rain (and yes, some flakes of snow) drop on this cool October evening, I am eased into a sense of tranquility by a small glass of the Fighting Cock. I acquired this bottle on a whim recently and this seems like as good a time as any to experience its offerings.
The Fighting Cock is a Kentucky straight bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky. The bottle is sparse and likely unappealing to most casual and experienced customers alike. The name itself seems meant more as a challenge to the consumer than an invitation. As I mentioned, I bought this on a whim and had no idea what to expect.
Bottled at an angry 51.5% abv, the colour is rich with copper. The bourbon is aged 6 years, though the age statement no longer appears on the bottle.
The nose is strong and starts the tasting experience appropriately for such a whisky. A symphony of spice, vanilla, and caramel is supported by nuts and dried fruit. This is a rich overture.
The palate does not disappoint. It starts off sweet with honey and caramel, but quickly turns to spice, nuts, wood, leather, and vanilla. There’s a change at the very end which I find hard to describe, like the flavours, as strong as they are, aren’t enough completely mask the strength the alcohol in the whisky. Still, it’s quite nice and quickly forgotten.
The finish is spicy and long, with caramel rounding out the wood and light overlay of honey.
Adding some water releases even more spice, dulls a bit of the alcohol, and even opens up a tinge of citrus to the palate. I highly recommend taking this with a bit of water, the strengths are made more strong and the weakness masked.
Overall, this is a substantial product and I am more than happy to have found it. Available at the SAQ in Quebec for about $35, it’s a decent value. Ontario does not carry it at the moment, naming issues may trouble the Queen’s subjects in that province.