Last fall Hudson Funk and I sat down on a weeknight to taste barrel samples – two from Dickel and three from Bulleit, and from those we picked two Bulleit barrels (that will be in soon) and one of Dickel. Out of the two Dickel barrels, the one we picked is not the traditional Dickel profile; it is just a really really good bourbon (which it is based on the mashbill, use of new charred oak barrels, etc.) The pick is nine years old, and is bottled at a nice 103 proof. Hokus Pokus just got the final product in yesterday. This bottle is $48.
The color is a nice solid honey amber, and on the swirl there is a nice film and legs but there is almost a sheen of film that makes the legs less evident. This is a very nice oily whiskey. The nose is not traditional Dickel at all; heavy caramel, vanilla, almond brittle, and some oak. None of that Dickel funkiness at all. On the palate, the caramel is evident on the first sip but then the vanilla and almond extract notes come to the fore, followed by cinnamon, clove, and candied cherries. The proof is just right; it’s high enough that the whiskey is very flavorful but low enough that you can give this multiple chews across your palate to really get all of the flavors in this complex, well balanced whiskey. Mouthfeel is medium full tending toward full; it is slightly syrupy. On the finish the baking spice fades and the candied cherries linger on and on.
I really could not be more pleased at how this particular barrel pick turned out, and even more amazed that the price is less than $50 a bottle.