I picked up a mini bottle today. I like it. Granted, I prefer EWB at 11 bucks or EC12 at 20 bucks, but FC103 has some charming elements that I haven't found elsewhere.
First, the proof is astounding for a mid-shelf bourbon. I also don't know of any other bourbons bottled at 103. A random numer! And a prime number! Seriously, though...I'm guessing HH decided on this proof to compete with WT101. For reference, the following prime numbers are unclaimed whiskey proofs: 83, 89, 97, 109, and 113.
Plus, adjectives + birds seem to make people thirsty. It works for WT and Famous Grouse. I propose a new 15-20 dollar bourbon: Salacious Pheasant. Or Corpulant Goose. Or Ill-Tempered Eagle. Or Feisty Quail. I've got a million of these.
Second, this is a sweet bourbon, but lacks the thick viscosity of other "sweeters." This is a good reason to try it, too.
Third, I'm picking up the most prominent honeydew melon flavor I've ever experienced (outside melon flavored vodka) from a spirit. This interesting flavor profile might be fleeting or capricious from bottle to bottle, but I'm impressed.
Fourth, I like the lack of snob appeal. The Kickin' Chicken ain't trying to impress nobody. And the plastic bottle isn't making any friends. According to the HH website:
"Fighting Cock appeals to both male Gen X-ers and serious Bourbon lovers alike."
Hey! Creepy! It's like they have my dossier!