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George Dickel Rye

Tennessee Rye

0 783

@talexanderReview by @talexander

2nd Dec 2014

0

  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

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7 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Another new US rye whiskey, another MGP/LDI product.

I liked Dickel Rye more than I thought I would, after reading people finding 'grapefruit pith' in it. I don't want grapefruit pith in my rye whiskey. Fortunately I did not experience it that way.

Using the Lincoln County process with rye whiskey seems like a very weird idea to me, but this Dickel rye didn't turn out too badly.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

So this wasn't distilled by the Dickel distillery? That doesn't make sense to me. It has to be distilled in Tennessee, correct? I didn't find grapefruit pith in it either (which I've found in some Canadian ryes, like Collingwood 21yo) The fruits in this are heavier, like baked apple.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

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.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Yep, produced and aged at MGP, then filtered and bottled by Diageo in Plainfield, Illinois--N.B. "MGP of Indiana" in the wikipedia. No Tennessee in the process at all.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

So after being aghast at the idea that a Tennessee whiskey is being deliberately and incorrectly labelled, I took a closer look and found that, unlike the other Dickel expressions, nowhere on the Dickel rye bottle is it called Tennessee whiskey (or in Dickel's case, "whisky") Which I guess it can't anyway since it's rye, but still..... So I'm sure you are 100% correct, and they get away with it by slightly cheating it. "Hey fellow Diageo marketing dicknose, let's make a rye whiskey at MGP." "Sure, OK. What do we call it?" "Hell, I dunno. Uhhhh...hmmmm...." "Shit, dude, let's just stick a Dickel label on it so people think it's from Dickel, the boss said we gotta push that brand better anyway." "Ya think it'll fly?" "Sure, it'll fly! We'll even chill-filter it through charcoal in Indiana, it'll be hilarious!" Sigh. I swear that was the exact conversation.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

It is indeed horribly frustrating when all of this subterfuge is used to prevent people from learning where the whiskey was actually produced. It annoys the hell out of me too.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

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.

4 years ago 0

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