Aged for 20 Years, New Expression and Commemorative Tin Honors "The Famous Old Brand’s" Prohibition-era History
BARDSTOWN, Ky., December 06, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grain & Barrel Spirits’ ("G&B") has released a limited-edition Chicken Cock Cotton Club Canadian Rye Whiskey, which was aged for 20 years and bottled in a Prohibition-era Chicken Cock replica apothecary-style bottle at 100 proof (50% ABV). The mash bill contains 90% rye and 10% malted barley.
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Grain & Barrel Spirits has released a limited-edition Chicken Cock Cotton Club Canadian Rye Whiskey, which was aged for 20 years and bottled in a Prohibition-era Chicken Cock replica apothecary-style bottle at 100 proof (50% ABV). The expression is now available online via Passion Spirits, Flaviar, Caskers, and Cask Cartel and soon nationally via special allocation. (Photo: Business Wire)
Originally established in Paris, Kentucky in 1856, Chicken Cock – known as "The Famous Old Brand" – was forced to move production up to Canada during Prohibition. The Canadian Rye whiskey produced during that period was then smuggled back into the U.S. in tin cans, earning the brand the nickname, "the whiskey in a tin can." It was around this time that Chicken Cock rose to fame as the featured house whiskey at The Cotton Club (located in Harlem at 142nd St. and Lenox Avenue), one of Prohibition’s most legendary speakeasies. Here the brand was ceremoniously opened table-side where Duke Ellington and his orchestra regularly performed on the Cotton Club’s stage. In an excerpt from ‘Music is my Mistress,’ Ellington said, "during the prohibition period, you could always buy good whiskey from somebody in the Cotton Club. They used to have what they called Chicken Cock. It was a bottle in a can, and the can was sealed. It cost something like ten to fourteen dollars a pint." ($140+ today).
"This luxury spirit and commemorative tin honor Chicken Cock’s Prohibition-era history and a period where the brand ventured north to carry on its tradition of bringing high quality whiskey to patrons across the country," said Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits. "This rare straight rye whiskey signals a return to pre-prohibition times when the classic spirit was more prevalent, while also honoring the brand’s history and heritage. We even maintained the spelling of ‘whiskey’ versus ‘whisky’ on the original tin from Prohibition."
Appearance: aged 20 years in a used bourbon barrel, the whiskey glistens with a soft, yellowish-brown hue
Aroma: sweet candy combined with slight grassy rye, earthy notes, hints of citrus/orange peel, spice and white pepper
Flavor: a wonderful combination of vanilla, spice and sweet molasses, nicely complimented with mild overtones of pepper, citrus and toasted oak
Finish: a long finish with a wonderful balance of pepper, spice and sweetness, that lingers with a buttery mouthfeel
After Prohibition, Chicken Cock enjoyed a resurgent couple of decades before a distillery fire just after World War II put it out of business. In 2012, Anttila rediscovered the brand and set out to resurrect it to its Prohibition-era glory alongside Master Distiller Gregg Snyder whose résumé includes distilling, cooperage, and executive positions with Brown-Forman, Austin Nichols, as well as board positions with the Associated Cooperage Industries of America, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, and others. Since that time, the team has introduced a flagship KY Straight Bourbon and KY Straight Rye Whiskey, made in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Company as part of its collaborative distilling program.
Chicken Cock Cotton Club Canadian Rye Whiskey (1,595 6-pack cases) is available for the suggested retail price of $499.99 per 750ml bottle online via Passion Spirits, Flaviar, Caskers, and Cask Cartel and soon nationally via special allocation.
About Grain & Barrel Spirits
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Grain & Barrel Spirits develops and scales craft spirits that connect the best artisans to consumers worldwide. One of the company’s core brands is Dixie Vodka, the leading premium homegrown vodka produced in the Southeast and the Official Vodka of NASCAR; one of the fastest-growing craft brands in the United States, Dixie won the prestigious 2019 and 2020 and 2021 "Rising Star" Growth Brands Awards from Beverage Dynamics magazine. Other brands in the Grain & Barrel portfolio include Chicken Cock Whiskey, an historically significant whiskey brand established in Paris, Kentucky, in 1856; Virgil Kane Lowcountry Whiskey; High Goal Luxury Gin, a small batch, ultra-premium gin produced in Charleston; and Elvis Whiskeys, a duo of Elvis Presley-inspired whiskeys. Grain & Barrel has been named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America three years in a row and is a proud member of 1% For The Planet.
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