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George Dickel Barrel Select

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George Dickel Barrel Select

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George Dickel Barrel Select

The reviewed bottle has been open for one year, but the reviewed sample from that bottle was decanted immediately after the bottle was opened. I am a big fan of George Dickel # 12, but held off for years in getting any of the George Dickel Barrel Select for fear that it would be no better than the Dickel # 12 for twice the US price. Turns out that I was right about the price observation, though they are a bit different in style, due to differences in age and differences in the characteristics of the barrels chosen for the Barrel Select. It is useful to remember that Tennessee whiskey differs from bourbon in having been subjected to "the Lincoln County Process", a filtration of the aged whisky through a very thick layer of sugar-maple charcoal prior to bottling. This charcoal filtration removes some of the flavouring agents and leaves a sweet maple flavour residue. The age for George Dickel Barrel Select is reported to be 10 years, which is much longer aging than the 4 years which George Dickel # 12 is guaranteed to be aged

Nose: very sweet and very corn-y. Dickel uses a mashbill of 84% corn and only 8% each of rye and of malted barley. So you could very accurately call this a corn whisky...and Dickel does omit the "e" in the word 'whisky'. I notice the corn more now than I did when this bottle was first opened. Relatively light and subtle influence from wood, maple charcoal, and rye are also present

Taste: this has a very lush and oily mouthfeel, which I like very much; very sweet and very corny in the mouth, but the flavours from oak are much stronger in the mouth than in the nose. For me the oak flavours compete to the detriment of the corn flavours and produce two very smooth and attractive flavours which do not blend extremely well together

Finish: the wood flavours diminish somewhat going into the finish, which is a good thing; I prefer the finish to the palate here; a long sweet finish which ends on the taste of sweet corn; some spice from rye and some spice from wood are also present

Balance: this gets a good balance score from me because it finishes well. It appears to me that the very sweetest barrels of the George Dickel aging stock were chosen to go into the George Dickel Barrel Select. Overall I prefer George Dickel # 12 to the nearly twice as expensive (in the US) George Dickel Barrel Select. Why? The younger Dickel # 12 tends to be much drier than the Dickel Barrel Select, and that dryness seems to me to provide a better environment for the flavours of the Dickel Tennessee Whisky to harmonise together. The George Dickel Barrel Select, by contrast, is really an old very sweet corn whisky...BUT, that very age brings out more wood flavours than harmonise well with the grain flavours

@FMichael, thanks for joining in.

I've tried a bunch of Tennessee whiskeys a number of times. I've seen a lot of variability, especially in the Jack Daniels products. I've had Jack Old No 7 I've liked, and I've had Jack Daniels Single Barrel that I've liked, but in both cases those were minority experiences. In other words, sometimes I've found individual bottles/batches of Jack Daniels that I've really liked, but most of the sampes of Old No. 7 Black Label and Single Barrel I would have rather done without. I've never liked Gentleman Jack. The result is that I have no confidence that I would enjoy any Jack Daniels product unless I could taste from that specific batch of Jack Daniels before buying the bottle.

As Tennessee whiskey goes, George Dickel # 12 is my strong preference. Occasionally a batch of Dickel # 12 is not up to the usual standard, which I consider to be quite high, but statistically this has been uncommon in my experience. I've had George Dickel # 8, but it's been several years now. That one seemed on the rough side to me. The George Dickel Barrel Select is a differfent animal entirely from Dickel # 12 and Dickel # 8. Barrel Select is much sweeter and more corny than the others,...thick, syrupy even. It would be a very specific mood I'd have to be in to really get into Dickel Barrel Select. George Dickel # 12 is the only Tennessee whiskey which is a regular in my cabinet. I know a couple of people for whom George Dickel # 12 is their favourite of all whiskies.

Nice review Victor.

Now that I'm underway with discovering what Kentucky bourbons/Tennessee whisk(e)y has to offer I noticed a bottle of this George Dickel Select on the shelf of a local grocery store (and what amused me most that it was a 'exclusive' bottling for that store by the distillery).

Several years ago while making a hockey related road trip to see my beloved Detroit Red Wings in both Nashville, and St.Louis - we went on the Jack Daniels distillery tour. It was enjoyable, and I recall the gal who was our guide was a very proud Tennessean, and exclaimed how the 'Lincoln County Process' enhanced the flavors of the spirit that Kentucky bourbon lacked - lol.

They really do have it in for each other - Tennessee VS Kentucky.

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