Approaching this Tennessee whiskey I had an expectation that it would be good. I’m quite a fan of George Dickel Number 12 and with such great quality at such a reasonable price I expected it’s more mature brother to be even better. Not only was I pleased with Dickel Barrel Select, I was pleasantly surprised; something which only happens rarely. Dickel Barrel Select, the distilleries small batch whiskey, only legitimizes George A. Dickel & Co as a distillery worth holding the marker as a true Tennessee whisky.
To reiterate what makes Dickel unique, especially compared to its close neighbor Jack Daniels, the whisky is double-distilled: first using a column still and second utilizing a pot still. It is then chilled and charcoal mellowed before barreling (i.e. Lincoln County Process). Unlike Jack Daniels, the “other distillery” employs a higher proportion of corn, utilizes proprietary yeast strains and stores the whisky in a single story warehouse. So what about the review?
George Dickel Tennessee Whisky Review:
Price: Around $39.95 for a 750ml bottle.
Packaging/Labeling: A lovely short and stout bottle with a wooden cork topper. Classy.
Alcoholic Content: 86 Proof, 43% ABV.
Nose: Nice strong corn nose with caramel, leather, mint and maple oak. Direct and well rounded.
Tasting: Begins with huge corn on the front palette. It hits you aggressively, yet controlled and assertive with a little spice. Some later candy corn notes turn into a wonderful maple syrup and buttery goodness one associates with pancakes. Its medium finish ends with a fresh and minty oak foundation.
Conclusion: Dickel is very much an underrated whiskey from Tennessee and, as the Barrel Select shows us, a hidden treasure. Indeed, Diageo does not even have the brand listed on its site. Yet as much as I love having it all to myself, I hope that sooner or later, it will receive some of its due recognition from its owners. As Jason Pyle says in his Jack Daniels Single Barrel verses Dickel Barrel Select comparison review, "It’s too bad those morons from Diageo continue to treat it like a red headed stepchild, because the whiskey Dickel produces is some of the best in the country for the dollar." I can definitely reiterate that. This whisky is worth much more than its weight in gold - and a great gift, as it was in my case!