Whisky Wednesday: Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

Review Whisky

I have to confess to being a little prejudiced against this week’s bourbon before I opened the bottle. For a start, it’s relatively young – only 6 years old – and although I know that you can have some great young whiskies (Kilchoman comes to mind), most of the time the longer a whisky sits in the barrel, the better it becomes.

My other issue is the name. This is a topic which has been discussed on various beer blogs in the past and I think it applies as much to whisky as it does to beer.  I’m all for creative names, but I’d rather not have the feeling that it’s come straight off a comedy postcard from the 1970s.

Fighting Cock

This is Fighting Cock 6 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon; an unfortunately named dram that has a big job to do to make me love it.

In the glass, it has that rich deep amber that seems to be common to all bourbon. The nose has little more than a big alcohol burn to it – ok, so it’s on the strong side at 51.5% but that shouldn’t rob it of all other character. Once it’s sat in the glass for a little while and the alcohol has faded a touch there’s just a hint of dark cherries and a touch of grain. Adding a splash of water doesn’t really do anything to cut back that raw alcohol – all it does is wash away that faint fruit note.

Happily in the mouth things get a lot more interesting. There’s a deep warmth to it from all that alcohol and more of that dark fruit apparent, along with a muscovado sugar sweetness. It still has that slightly rough grain tang but it’s well hidden by that sweet bourbon richness. Water sadly robs the drink of that sweetness, exposing the rough, raw grain nature.

Overall, this is not a bad whisky. It’s a little young, a little rough around the edges and unusually loses a lot of it’s good points with water but aside from that, it’s almost redeemed it’s questionable name.

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