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 wheat 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 Wheat Bourbon
Vital Stats: Wheated bourbon whiskey, 92 proof or 46% abv, high wheat mash with corn and barley. SRP $42 available at Bending Branch but offered in retail across Texas soon.
Appearance: Deep caramel almost mahogany.
Nose: Sweet with immediate notes of caramel, wheat, sugar, leather and dark oak notes. As the glass warms in my hand I am greeted with the familiar smell of alcohol, corn, and a young bourbon. My brain wants to find older more sophisticated notes because of the color, but they aren’t present.
Taste: immediately tingles the tongue and has a delightful hit of spice in all the right ways. It quickly warms the chest without burning. As the mouth adjusts to the flavor I found brown sugar, smoke, wine tannins, pepper, toffee, with mild malt notes. Throughout the taste you find notes of oak, char, and cedar. The finish sits for a minute before dissipating. The flavors don’t evoke an immediate desire for a return sip, but they don’t discourage one either. It sits well on the tongue between sips.
Read the full article at Whiskey Review: Chickenduck Wheat Bourbon