At this point I’ve covered just about every current George Dickel offering with the exception of the 9 year single barrel and the 14 year single barrel and today we’re knocking the George Dickel 9 year Single Barrel off the list. I know I say this every time I do a single barrel review, but I think it bears repeating. Since this literally comes from one single barrel your own experience might be a bit different unless you get a bottle from the exact same barrel and since Dickel doesn’t put the barrel number on the bottle it’s going to be a little hard to tell.
If you’ve already watched the video they sent us about how George Dickel is made then you already know what I’m about to say next. Which is, the thing that impresses me the most about Dickel is the way this is well and truly handcrafted. No computers, minimal machinery and a whole lot of elbow grease and ingenuity. Call it craft, call it artisanal, call it whatever the hell you want because at the end of the day it just means they put out a good product and at they do it the hard way.
Could Diageo afford to upgrade the place? Sure, but until they do (if they do) we’ll just be enjoying this hand crafted goodness. And speaking of hand crafted goodness, check out the video embedded below the review to see how that awesome box behind the whiskey came to be.
George Dickel Single Barrel Review
Age: 9 years
Distiller: George Dickel
Mashbill: 84% corn, 8% rye & 8 % barley
I know I’m committing a heresy here, but it smells like bourbon, and a really good bourbon at that. Caramel, wood, vanilla, corn, spice and a cherry heavy dark fruit gallop out of the glass; it’s something that I’m whole heartedly enjoying. As I keep sniffing and letting it open more the aroma gets deeper with notes of toffee, maple bars, toasted sugar, charred oranges and a touch of a musty dusty quality emerging. A splash of water works to open them up even further.
The wood is bold and creates a nice floor for the organized chaos that follows it. Caramel, charred citrus, cherry and dried strawberry heavy dark fruit, vanilla, brulee, cinnamon, leather, clove, corn, a touch of fresh herbs like parsley and thyme and it just goes on and on. It’s a very toothsome and complex flavor that becomes even more expressive with that previously mentioned dash of water.
A long woody ending pocketed with notes of caramel, baking spices, vanilla, mint and toffee. A lovely ending to this whisky.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
It really is spot on when it comes to balance. Everything works together and gets bolstered by a firm full body and a heavy satiny texture that borders on luxurious.
Damn. The more Dickel I have the more I like it. I think it’s an underrated distillery and this single barrel offering is an exceptional example of what the folks in Tullahoma are able to crank out. The nose is refreshing and bold at the same time, the palate is complex and dramatic, and the finish is supple and surprising. Simply put it’s a really good whiskey. Slowly but surly Dickel is creeping in and conquering more and more of my shelf space and you know what? I’m 100% okay with that.
*Disclosure: This was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.