Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Bending Branch is a Comfort, Texas-based wine and spirits company. The winery, you read that correctly, winery was founded in 2009. Specializing in Tannat style wine, this Texas based winery recently began expanding into whiskey.
Bending Branch has two whiskey labels, Bending Branch 1840 and Chickenduck. 1840 has a high rye bourbon and a four grain bourbon. The Chicken Duck has a high rye bourbon and a wheated bourbon.
So what is Chickenduck? As the brand explains it, “ChickenDuck is serious bourbon that is purposefully crafted differently. It is named after two of the original chickens and ducks that roamed the vineyard managing pests and entertaining guests. Continuing Bending Branch Winery’s expertise in innovative techniques, the ChickenDuck bourbons use an advanced extraction technology that give them the qualities of bourbons that are aged for multiple years. 100% of the aging of these bourbons takes place on the property in Comfort.
“The environmental impact of ChickenDuck is less than traditional bourbon whiskeys because of the extraction technology, reduction in barrel storage time and associated costs, and it’s almost complete reduction in evaporation loss (“Angel’s Share”) compared to bourbons aged a minimum of four years.”
This review will focus on the Chickenduck high rye bourbon. The bottle has a rather adorable cartoon of a chicken with a monocle and a duck in a bowler hat. The whiskey is 92 proof or 46% abv, with no age statement or mash bill indicated. Turning the bottle around it states, “distilled in Indiana, aged in Texas.” Which means there is a short list of potential distillers for this product. Which, as I’ve stated before, should not be a knock against any brand. There is a great deal of nuance which goes into a sourced whiskey and blending.
With that, we turn to the glass.
Tasting Notes: Chickenduck High Rye Bourbon
Vital Stats: 92 proof or 46% abv; high rye mash with corn and barley. SRP $42 available at Bending Branch but offered in retail across Texas.
Appearance: Golden, almost turning into amber with medium length legs.
Nose: It smelled like a sweet rye bourbon. We are greeted with a lovely rye spice and alcohol. Nosing the bourbon, a bit more there are notes of grass, vanilla, clover, and earth tones. Overall, it is pleasant but there isn’t a lot of depth to the nose.
Taste: Surprisingly smooth for a high rye. I find notes of sweet corn, lemon at the front. The taste evolves across the palate to reveal worn leather and char at about the mid palate. The flavors give way to a robust finish of dry oak, rye, and a bready flavor. Into the finish it peaks immediately and evenly dissipates off the tongue.
Read the full article at Whiskey Review: Chickenduck High Rye Bourbon