I went to college in Middle Tennessee not far from the George Dickel distillery, now known as Cascade Hollow. I have been there; it is a beautiful place. However, I was never really impressed with their whiskey (or whisky as the spell it) and mostly mixed it with egg nog on occasion. My wife and I had our first distillery date at this distillery when we were snowed in while I was attending a Continuing Legal Education Seminar in Nashville. Weather was ok in Tennessee, but Dallas was getting pounded.
George Dickel, like Jack Daniels, otherwise meets the definition of bourbon, in that it is produced in the United States, from a mashbill of mostly corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, and is aged at least four years unless otherwise stated. But it is Tennessee whiskey, which is essentially bourbon that has been charcoal mellowed, meaning that the whiskey is filtered through charcoal, ostensibly to promote smoothness, before being barreled. This charcoal mellowing is known as the Lincoln County process. Gentleman Jack is twice filtered, once before barreling and once after. The George Dickel mashbill is almost all corn; there is very little rye and very little barley in the mashbill.
However, I have been drinking quite a bit of Dickel juice lately, in the form of single barrel bourbons from Barrell. So, I was pretty excited to discover this edition of Dickel – a thirteen year old (a year shy of the Barrell single barrels that are typically $90 a bottle) bottled in bond whiskey. This was distilled in the fall of 2005 and bottled last spring.
The color is a beautiful reddish amber, indicative of wonderful aging in the barrel and not a lot of proofing down to 100 proof. The swirl produces a nice film with thinnish legs that turn thicker with a little air.
On the nose, deep caramel, peanut brittle, baking spice. Lovely. On the palate, I am greeted with a medium bodied mouthfeel, caramel, spiced pecans, chocolate, and dark fruits, which turns into a slightly oaky but definitely cinnamon finish but with the other flavors lingering as well. Very lingering finish at that, more so than some more expensive whiskies I can think of. This is amazing for a $35ish a dollar bottle of whiskey. The more I taste it the more I like it.
Whisky Advocate named this the best whiskey of 2019. Normally I don’t go in for that sort of thing, as I often disagree with whiskey pundits. Bit given the bargain price on this whiskey, I get why Whisky Advocate picked this. If Nicole Austin, the new manager and distiller at Cascade Hollow, has more whiskies like this up her sleeve, I am definitely game to pick up a bottle and try it. I would snatch up a 15 year old cask strength version of this in a heartbeat.