Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fighting Cock, Bulleit, and Dan Akroyd

I have a love of the brown. A complete, unabashed, poop-your-pants in excitement love. And by “the brown” I mean whiskey. Scotch, Bourbon, Irish Whiskey, Tennessee Whiskey, even CANADIAN whiskey- It matters not. I just love it all. And while I can enjoy the complex flavors of scotch, from the peatiness of an Islay to the saltiness of a Speyside and the finely nuanced balance of a Highland; I must admit that my favorite whiskey is indeed the Kentucky Bourbon. Oh, I am not denigrating the other browns. It would be like asking a Sheik who his favorite gal in the harem is. They all have a beauty that is their own, but he has a special fondness for that redhead…


Now I would not call my love of whiskey an unrequited love. Whiskey loves me much in the way that Ike loved Tina. Fun in the beginning, but without a doubt morning finds me curled up in a fetal position pooping blood. There is something that is bracing about the first glass, calming about the second, and addictively self abusing about the third. But this blog is not about lamenting of the evils of whiskey, but about exalting its glories.

(good when mixed)

So a bit ago I was in the need of a bourbon. I decided to hit the store, unsure as to whether I would splurge on a $30 bottle (Think Woodford or Bulleit), buy the old $15 standby (Jim Beam is my go to man. A dependable man not unlike George Clooney), or buy something cheaper that is palatable when mixed (Think Evan Williams. He is the Dan Akroyd of whiskey. You can’t beat it or him as an ensemble, but you would never give either a solo leading role.) I decided to be a middling cheap bastard and grabbed the white bottle of Jim Beam. Yup, ol’ dependable. I started to leave the whiskey aisle, when a flashy bottle caught my eye.

Fighting Cock Bourbon!

It was moderately priced ($20) and packed a whollup (at 103 proof, it is even more potent than Wild Turkey). Now how in the world can I pass up a bourbon named after deplorable abuse masquerading as sport! If there was a bourbon named “Seal Clubbing” or “Cat Juggling” I suppose would be all over those too. Sometimes I think I am not a very nice person. But I gave a dollar to the Salvation army guy, so its all ok in the end.


How was it? Potent. Drinking it straight burned a bit. Mixing it with diet coke created a sickly sweet and strong drink. I suppose I am just too weak for the Fighting Cock. I would probably buy this again for a party to make my guests drunk and pliable, and the bottle for sure makes a great conversation piece. But sipping it straight on ice? Meh. I did it. I drank a good portion of the bottle that way. I wouldn’t recommend it though. This is a mixing bourbon. But at $20 a bottle, it makes for an expensive mixing bourbon. One of the ironies of life, eh?


My second whiskey I want to give a shout out to is Bulleit Bourbon. It is your typical $30 small batch bourbon. It calls itself a “frontier whiskey” because it comes in a rustic looking bottle and at 90 proof it packs a stronger whollup than your typical liquor without being stupidly overpowering. If I am to buy a sipping bourbon and want to spend $30, 3 out of 4 times this is what I grab. If you even think about mixing this bourbon, I will step on your face. Neat or with ice please.

Its flavor is slightly spicy with the barest hint of vanilla overtones. Neither is overpowering though and the flavors seem both natural and real. Its 90 proof punch can be compared to a good natured tousle with an Australian. You maybe get a few bruises, but nothing is permanently damaged and the fight was all in good fun.

Drinking Fighting Cock is more like fighting with an angry closeted redneck. He thinks that you embody all that is evil in the Big City, and you are the cause of both his recent layoff at the plant and his unexplainable feelings for men. The only way he can avenge either it to beat the first guy with hair gel and an IQ over 80.


Over the holidays I picked up a bottle of Bulleit and drank the entire thing with a good college buddy and my brother in law. We blew through it over a period of perhaps 3 hours. Sure, we weren’t moving too quickly in the morning but we were in good enough shape for a big lunch of Churrasco. All you can eat steak, served on swords by Brazilian cowboys? YES PLEASE. And the caipirinhas helped take the edge of nicely. But that’s another blog entry.

Cheers – TommyG

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