Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Bulleit Rye, which is distilled at LDI (now MGPI) in Indiana. Now, Diageo has released a second rye made from the same stuff under its George Dickel label. Like Dickel Tennessee Whisky (and unlike Bulleit), Dickel Rye is subject to the Lincoln County Process of filtering the spirit through sugar-maple charcoal. The difference is that Dickel Tennessee Whisky is filtered after distillation, before it goes into the barrel, whereas Dickel rye, since they purchase the whiskey from elsewhere, is filtered after aging. Let's taste this new rye and compare it to Bulleit.
George Dickel Rye (distilled at LDI), 45% abv ($20)
The nose on this is pure pickle juice, which is actually pretty typical of young LDI ryes. There's also a hint of oregano. The palate is the LDI rye spice box, bold and flavorful as ever. By the late palate, mint dominates. The finish is a tongue-numbing mint.
Bulleit vs. Dickel
The first thing you notice when taking these two head to head is that, unsurprisingly, they are very similar. For all we know, of course, Dickel is the exact same whiskey as Bulleit but run through the sugar maple charcoal. Between the two, Bulleit is more balanced and has more of the traditional rye character. Dickel has a stronger flavor, but between the pickle nose and the strong mint at the end, it's a bit overpowering...so much for "charcoal mellowing." Overall, I like them both, but I think Bulleit is the stronger whiskey.
See the LA Whiskey Society reviews of Dickel Rye and Bulleit Rye.