Monday, June 13, 2016

Tennessee Teenager: George Dickel 17

George Dickel has always been one of my favorite distilleries. The Diageo owned Tennessee Whiskey maker's No. 12 is a favorite of mine, and I'm a big fan of the private barrel 9 and 14 year olds that went to retailers so I was excited to hear that they were releasing a 17 year old, which is also the oldest Tennessee Whiskey that I know of.

According to Dickel, they recently found these old barrels, accidentally stumbling upon them in the warehouse. We totally believe that story, right? I mean, this is Diageo. They've got a whole series of whiskey, the Orphan Barrels, premised on barrels they just found or accidentally mixed up or whatever. This is what they do. It's pretty shocking how a company that regularly admits to its own incompetence in these matters can still be the largest spirits company in the world, but hey, I guess they just stumbled into that too.

In any case, the 17 year old Dickel is only available at the distillery visitor center in 375 ml bottles.

George Dickel 17, 43.5% ($75 for 375 ml).

The nose is fantastic with big bourbon notes and plenty of oak. There is a dryness to it along with some red wine notes. The palate is, I hate to use the term, smooth. It's got a creamy, buttery mouth feel with those characteristic Dickel mineral/plywood notes, but there is a diluted quality to it. The finish is sweet with floral notes and maple syrup.

This is distinctively Dickel and as a Dickel fan, I certainly like it, but I really wish it were higher proof. It's good, but it feels like it could have been great with less water. As it stands, it's not as good as some of the 9 and 14 year old retail picks I've tasted, and given the quality and great price of the standard No. 12, it's hard to recommend the 17 year old at $75 for a half bottle to anyone but the most fanatical Dickel fans.

Thanks to Ryan at Signde Drinks for acquiring the bottle (and also see his review of the Dickel 17).  


Anonymous said...

Too bad they can't lose their U.S. brand ambassadors and entire North American marketing department.

Anonymous said...

...they (Diageo)