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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.