Review: Chicken Cock Red Stave Petite Sirah Barrel Finish

Review: Chicken Cock Red Stave Petite Sirah Barrel Finish

So I first read the label on this whiskey as Red State, thinking maybe Chicken Cock was doing an ambitious “Red State/Blue State” combo release. I mean, the brand is called Chicken Cock. Why wouldn’t they?

But know, it’s Red Stave, a limited edition that is finished in J. Wilkes Winery Petite Sirah barrels hailing from Paso Robles in southern California. Made from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye and 9% malted barley, the whiskey includes no information on primary aging or its finishing time — though you do get a cute Prohibition era-style tin.

The redness of the staves has spilled over to the color of the whiskey, which is a pretty and inviting shade of reddish orange. There’s a bold nose here — barrel char leading the way to baking spice, but that’s kept in check by underpinnings of turned earth alongside notes of dill and some fresh rye bread aromatics. The influence of the wine becomes apparent only on first sip, where a tannic, earthy quality kicks things off. A chewy, nutty mouthfeel dominates as notes of walnut, blackberry jam, and gingery baking spice emerge — and quickly wash away. Unfortunately, the finish has that telltale “wineyness” to it, with a tannic grip building and building until that’s all that remains. I ended up left with a drying aftertaste of over-baked apple, oak dust, and cookie dough, all in a slightly haphazard swirl.

I love what the wine did to the color of this whiskey, but I fear the finishing time here was just a bit too long.

102.4 proof.

B / $200 / chickencockwhiskey.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Chicken Cock Red Stave Petite Sirah Barrel Finish

$200
8

Rating

8.0/10

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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