Category Archives: George Dickel

Tennessee Whiskey Review: Jack Daniels Single Barrel and George Dickel Barrel Select

Jack Daniels Single Barrel, 47%/94 Proof $45
Jack Daniels has one of the most distinctive flavor profiles in whiskey. The Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery’s single barrel effort is the same profile ramped up a few levels, particularly in the wood department. The deep amber, copper-red hued Tennessee Whiskey is thick and viscous in the glass. The nose is a all sweet and oak: huge caramel and vanilla, toasted oak and cedar, as well as floral aromas. Burnt cinnamon sugar and cocoa help make for a dark, sultry aroma. The flavors on the palate are sturdy and firm, again with tremendous weight. In spite of that, the front half of the sip is a bit flat, eventually evolving as vanilla infused caramel, black pepper, wood spices, and charcoal towards the finish. Oak, a resinous grippy quality, and dry spices dominate the finish. Jack Daniels Single Barrel is a very well made whiskey hurt a bit by a lack of balance and a slow development of flavors on the palate.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.3 (Very Good/Excellent)

George Dickel Barrel Select, 43%/86 Proof $39
It’s no secret that George Dickel plays second fiddle to Jack Daniels when it comes to production and notoriety. Heck take a look at Dickel’s parent company’s (Diageo) website. Regardless, the little distillery in Cascade Hollow (Tullahoma), Tennessee continues to put out some excellent products. Take for example their Barrel Select, which is the name for the distillery’s small batch of select barrels. It’s light amber/deep gold in hue with a nose of corn mash, sweet tobacco, honey, canned pineapple, and maple syrup wrapped around a core of oak and leather. It’s a special nose! On the palate this whiskey continues with the well rounded theme. Honeyed dried apricots, caramelized nuts, big corn, vanilla, and spearmint lead to a solid punch of splintered fresh oak. The finish is all corn, warming wood spices (cinnamon and allspice), and honey. George Dickel Barrel Select is a superb whiskey with balanced flavors of fruit, corn, wood, and spices. 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.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.0 (Superb/Outstanding)

George Dickel No 12 (White Label) Tennessee Whisky

George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whisky, 45% abv(90 Proof), $19/bottle

George Dickel No. 12 was a major shock to the system honestly. And I’m not sure why because many folks are devoted drinkers of the stuff, including my late (and great) grandparents. But this is a lesson that a higher price does not equate to a better product. In the case of George Dickel No. 12, that’s absolutely true. This amber/copper Tennessee Whisky (Dickel prefers to use the traditional Scottish spelling, losing the “e”) smells of pungent sweet corn, honey, dried fruits (apricots/raisins), scant vanilla, and some floral notes. The first sip is where this whisky shows it’s stuff with well integrated sweetness of honey and vanilla, sweet corn and grain, followed by mint and toasted oak. Wonderfully soft but, layered, persistent, and full of flavor – almost elegant. The finish is sweetly spiced with long and lingering oak and vanilla. A beautiful pour of whisky that makes Tennessee proud. This may be one of the top 2-3 whiskys under $20 on the planet. Mr. Dickel (and my grandparents) would be proud.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.7 (Excellent)