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George Dickel Rye

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 83

George Dickel Rye

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George Dickel Rye

As I continue my exploration into rye whiskies, I saw this on sale for $23 and decided to give it a shot. I haven't had a lot of George Dickel in my life, despite living 2 hours from Tullahoma, and I bought two this month. The only reason one would ever go to Tullahoma is to visit the distillery, otherwise it's a very small town with nothing to do. The drive there from Nashville is quite a scenic drive though.

So let's get some things out of the way first: 1. This is MGP. It states on the label "Distilled in Lawrenceburg Indiana." I'm glad it states this on the label, and unlike some, I don't mind that it's MGP. 2.) They advertise it as "chill-filtered." Like as it's a good thing. Big, white letters that say "chill-filtered" on the front of the label. Then they call it a "unique filtering process" because it's chill-filtered before the Lincoln County Process. Not my favorite marketing bit.

Bottle has been open about a week and is 90% full. Neat in a Glencairn.

Nose: Minty on the nose along with some fruit-gummy candies and rhubarb/strawberry dessert. A bit subdued, but pleasant enough.

Palate: Again, quite minty. Like, Colgate toothpaste minty. Some vanilla, but yeah the mint really is the dominate force here. Very light and crisp. Not much body, pretty smooth. You could easily drink a lot of this as it just doesn't seem like much is there.

Finish: Mint, rhubarb dessert, decent enough and long lasting.

Overall: I guess the search will continue for a budget rye that I enjoy. This is very light, smooth, drinkable, etc. but not very much body and pretty one dimensional. So far, Knob Creek Rye is the only rye I would go purchase. It had a lot of that nutty, spicy stuff that I look for in a rye. This is just too flat. Easy to drink, but boring and flat. Do not recommend.

Have you tried Old Forester Rye as a budget option?

@Astroke I have not. The only OF I've had was their 1897 "prohibition style" and it was very good. I'll try that one next!


95% Rye 5% Malted Barley

Nose: HEAVY Peppermint, brown sugar, hints of vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee, polish remover, sugar maple and subtle char. All in all, a fairly robust, full sugary nose with the typical maple sugar in your face vibe that I except from Georgey.

Palate: Mmm, let me savour this. Sweet maple arrival with a spicy kick all the way through, very smooth and syrupy. Minty at the back. Very chewy. Slight bitterness.

Slightly dry and astringent (same as the No.12), yet maintains its sweet, full round body character throughout. This is quite delicious. Not sure if I prefer the No.12 or the Rye better now?

Finish: Decent. Not exceptionally long, but it maintains its spicy wood sweetness and minty characteristic first found in the nose for some time. A splash of water brings out the sweetness even further and lowers the alcoholic bite, but another strange flavour appears. What's this? Oh yes…. the famous sugary crystals that were first present when I tasted the No.12. Oh this is good stuff… the fizz has arrived. gulp

Conclusion: Another delicious and exceptionally crafted treat from the Dickel distillery. I have another bottle of the No.12 in the cabinet unopened and waiting for a special quiet night. That should be enough to tell anyone how much I love the taste of this whisky! 90 points for the Rye.


Since this bottle is almost empty, I really should write a review of this, before it disappears...George Dickel Rye is the only Tennessee rye whiskey available in Ontario right now (who knows if Jack Daniel's unaged and/or aged rye comes here). Like all Tennessee whiskey, it is dripped through sugar maple charcoal prior to maturation (Dickel chills it before charcoal filtration). The mashbill is 95% rye and 5% malted barley. The char is #4 on the barrel, #2 on the head.

The colour is a burnt copper. On the nose is a nicely balanced combination of vanilla, Cherry Heering liqueur, wood smoke, green tobacco leaf and balsamic. Baked apple. Quite oaky. Like many ryes, rather perfumy but not overtly so. Pepper and smoked paprika. Water brings out more smoke and rye spice. Complex nose, if a little rough.

On the palate, spicy rye toast with soft vanilla. Spices such as cayenne pepper and anise are front and centre. Oaky with burnt toffee, more so with water. Fun to drink!

The long finish is surprisingly smooth and buttery with a bit of spice and lingering apple. I love rye whiskey, and Tennessee whiskey is a guilty pleasure of mine, so I should be in love with this...but I'm not. I like it very much - bold, peppery, fun to drink - but it is quite floral, and could use a little more complexity on the palate. I would drink No. 12 instead if I had the chance - but it is worth exploring.

Genuinely Tennessee produced rye whiskeys?

Jack Daniels now has a 2 yo "Rested Rye" which they themselves produced in Tennessee. I haven't tried it yet.

Benjamin Prichard is another actual distillery located in Tennessee which does distill a rye whiskey. I've never had any of their rye.

The Benjamin Prichard Double Barrelled Bourbon is outstanding, but unfortunately pretty expensive.

I don't think that anyone uses the Lincoln County process for any whiskey that is not labelled 'Tennessee Whisk(e)y'. Benjamin Prichard also makes a Tennessee whiskey, but they have the only known legal exemption from using the Lincoln County Process for that whiskey of theirs they call 'Tennessee Whiskey'. So, yes, Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey is Tennessee soley by virtue of its having been produced in Tennessee. It could also have been legally labeled as bourbon whiskey, as is their Double Barrelled Bourbon.

You can call a whiskey bourbon, even if it's made in Tennessee, if the Tennessee distiller chooses to do so. The 'Lincoln County Process' of charcoal filtration prior to barreling (Prichard's excepted), along with a Tennessee location, are otherwise the defining characteristics of "Tennessee Whisk(e)y".

These distinctions do get a little complex and legalistic.

Well, I've read that this too, is MGP/LDI product, along with Redemption Rye, Bulleit Rye, Templeton Rye, James E. Pepper Rye, some of the Willett ryes, and half of the vattings of some of the High West Ryes. The 95% rye/5% malted barley content recipe(sometimes reported as 100% rye, curiously) mashbill is the giveaway trademark formula for LDI/MGP. Where they do the Lincoln County process, i.e. whether in Indiana or Tullahoma, Tennessee, I have no idea. Let me know if you turn up any other, or different, information. I don't know why anyone would want to do the Lincoln County process on US rye whiskey...but this whiskey turned out pretty well despite it.


Nose: wonderful. Sweet spearmint and hints of dill. Very enticing.

Taste: medium-bodied with some good spice and heat from the alcohol. Then the mint comes through, along with toasty oak.

Finish: pleasant, minty, lasting.

Balance: A first-rate whisky which bears little resemblance to Tennessee sour mash. Unique with its 95% rye mash bill. A repeat buy for sure.

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