A couple of years ago, when I did my Tennessee Smackdown, George Dickel No. 12 came out head and shoulders above his Tennessee cousin, Jack Daniels. At that time, Dickel No. 8 was absent from the shelves as part of a temporary shortage that lasted for a year or two. Now, Dickel 8 has returned to the shelves to stand alongside the slightly more expensive No. 12 and the slightly cheaper Cascade Hollow, so I thought I would check it out.
George Dickel Old No. 8, 40% alcohol ($15-$19)
The nose has a lot in common with the 12; it's dry with rye spice, herbs and even dry white wine notes; very intriguing. The palate starts sweet, but then you pick up some of that rye and herbaceousness, including some pine/fir notes. The rye spice is a bit more prominent here than in the 12, which has more of an aged Bourbon flavor. It doesn't have the complexity of the 12, but it's extremely drinkable.
This is another winner from Dickel which bolsters my opinion that Dickel is one of the most underrated of distilleries and certainly one of the best values in American whiskey. At this price, George's motto might be close to true: There Ain't Nothin' Better.