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George Dickel Hand Selected Barrel 9 Years Old

Two Tennessees - Part II

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

31st Jan 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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George Dickel is the only other Tennessee whiskey distillery still in existence. Currently owned by Diageo, it was founded in the 1870s by a Nashville merchant who had immigrated from Germany (guess what his name was). When Prohibition hit Tennessee in 1910, the distillery moved to Kentucky, where it was soon acquired by Schenley. They moved it back to its original location on Cascade Hollow in 1958.

This is the most premium Dickel expression, from a single barrel of 9 year old spirit. Because I'm tasting this from a sample (courtesy of @cpstecroix's lovely wife) I don't know the barrel information. This was bottled exclusively for Premier Wine & Spirits in Buffalo NY.

The colour is a reddish gold (slightly lighter than the Jack Daniel's I just reviewed). On the nose, orange peel, bananas, mint chocolate, caramel corn and…lychee?? This is extremely fruity, balanced with soft salt-and-pepper and vanilla. Quite herbal. This will sound weird, but when I add a drop or two of water, I get malted barley notes. Extremely complex and engaging.

On the palate, we get more caramel…and the oak comes into play. The high ABV provides some heat. More bourbon-y than expected. Stronger vanilla overcomes the fruit, to some degree. Water gives it a more syrupy mouthfeel; as with the nose, malt is added. Very nice, and drinkable, but doesn't quite live up to the nose.

The finish is chalky - here the rye becomes more noticeable, with burnt caramel lasting for quite some time. Well, there is little comparison to the Jack Daniel's expression I just tasted - this is far superior, with more fruitiness, complexity and punch. Delicious - and certainly the best Tennessee whiskey I've ever tasted - but it doesn't reach the stratospheric heights of the best bourbons available. But perhaps that is an unfair comparison.

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Victor commented

@talexander, thanks for a great review. Oh, yeah, give me George over Jack any day. Can you compare this single barrel to George Dickel # 12 or the George Dickel Barrel Select? It would be a lot of fun to have some Dickel at 51.5% ABV.

Benjamin Pritchard also makes a Tennessee Whiskey nowadays. I expect to be sipping some of that with my sister tomorrow.

7 years ago 0

talexander commented

Ah - very nice! I've tasted the Dickel No. 8, No. 12 and the rye. If memory serves, yes this is closer to No. 12 but with more spice and punch. Here in Ontario, Dickel is almost never available - I think I once saw the No. 8 at one store for about a week.

By the way, I have accidentally found out that Tennessee whiskey goes very well with polenta and mushroom sauce. Go figure.

7 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Pudge72 helped @whiskyjoe do a minor corner of the Ontario market in Dickel # 12 last year.

So far I cannot say that I am a fan of George Dickel # 8.

7 years ago 0

talexander commented

Yeah, I thought it was OK. Liked the 12 though. Loved the rye! Speaking of which, tonight I've moved on to Masterson's 10yo rye, on a big sale - $15 off!

7 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

Hey there @talexander...just in case you haven't been to the LCBO recently, Dickel 12 has been back for a couple of months:


The best part? @whiskyjoe still has the majority of his original stash, so the inventory of the 2nd batch has been unharmed, to date. :)

7 years ago 0

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