Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dickel Rye


Diageo made a big entry into the rye market with 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.

18 comments:

loudtalknliquor (Larry) said...

would be funny if they are the same whiskey (with filtering) since this looks like it is a little less expensive. plus there would be costs associated (I'd think) with doing the filtering and coming up with a new label. thanks for the review!

sku said...

Thanks for your comments Larry. Prices are pretty comparable out here. I can get both for $20.

boozedancing said...

Hiya Sku!

We received some hefty samples of this a couple weeks ago but I have yet to try it. My neighbor has a bottle of the Bulleit too, so a side by side is definitely warranted. Thanks for the preview. It sounds like a respectable Rye. Look forward to sampling it!

Cheers!
G-LO

Chuck Cowdery said...

I suspect that the Bulleit is a little older.

sku said...

Chuck, that would certainly make sense based on the flavors. A bit of age may have softened some of the rougher edges on the Dickel.

DrinkInsider (Terry Lozoff) said...

hey sku - i'm in agreement. The bulleit definitely edges out the dickel. I was really looking forward to the release of dickel rye last year, and I was a little let down when I tried it. It's certainly not bad, just didn't add much to the market. I see both the bulleit and dickel for closer to $30 in my market, so in that price range there's some steep competition. like the willett 4yr rye. I wonder if bulleit has any plans for following their 10yr bourbon with a 10yr rye... chuck?

sku said...

Terry, my guess is it would be tough to get 10 year old LDI rye. Most of the stuff coming out of there these days seems very young.

Terry said...

Yea, i suppose you're right. just a little wishful thinking I guess. Maybe in a few years...

David D said...

I really do not like the Dickel. I was really surprised at how minty and herbaceous it was. It was too much for me to handle, like some of the bad bottles of Willett floating around.

David D said...

The other funny thing is that I've been referring to Dickel as, "Dickel my pickle" for years, simply because it rhymes. Now the name actually fits!

Jordan Devereaux said...

I can't imagine they're running it over much charcoal. That stuff will strip color away pretty quickly.

Josh Feldman said...

I was looking at a bottle of Dickel Rye today... ended up getting Nikka Taketsuru 12 - which is also brand new (in 750ml). Sounds like a I made the right choice (although, granted, it's a very different price level). This sounds like more an exercise in marketing than a stunning new flavor profile on the rye scene.

Anonymous said...

another carbon copy LDI rye product with little new to offer. rye for rye's sake. I agree with Josh on this one. nothing to see here -- next.

Chris said...

I also detected the pickle taste at first sip. The Dickel menthol and maple notes are a bit unusual with a rye whiskey.

However, over time, it gets less noticeable. All whiskeys change as air gets in, but I see happen more with Dickel than others.

If they had the resources to do a rye in Tullahoma, with their yeast and water, it would obviously be better.

However, I can't complain much for a price tag of $20. Bulleit goes for as much as $8-10 more here.

Plus, I like absinthe, so herbal notes are no problem...

Anonymous said...

How would you rate Dickel Rye performace to Dickels Tennesse whiskys? Ok, thanks. Jamie.

sku said...

I prefer the Tennessee Whiskey, particularly the Number 12.

Anonymous said...

Did you prefer Turkey Rye 101 or Dickel Rye? What one would stick to ginger ale the best?

Yeah, No 12 is the best Dickel. Those oak timbers remind me of a slow burning outdoor bbq! The gains and maple just mesh with the oak in such harmoney too.

sku said...

Between the two, I'd probably opt for Turkey 101, though it's been hard to find lately. I don't drink ginger ale, so can't give you much help on that one.