Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Whiskey Wednesday: Budget Booze - George Dickel No. 8

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.


sam k said...

Totally agree, Sku! I saw it on the shelves in a PA state store today for the first time in years. One of the only two 80 proof American whiskeys I'll buy (Four Roses Yellow is the other).

Not a fan of the Cascade Hollow though...kinda winey. The 12 is not available on the shelf here, but that's my favorite of their range, too. Both the 8 and 12 kick the pants off anything in their price range!

Toured Dickel on our honeymoon many years ago. Not only one of the best American distilleries, but among the most beautiful, too, with a very personal tour at the time (unlike their nearby competitor).

Thanks for the refresher course!

sku said...

Thanks for your comments Sam.

The only thing that frustrates me is why Diageo just sits on this distilery and does pretty much nothing with it.

I'd love to taste a cask strength Dickel 12 or other variations, though I'm not a fan of the Barrel Select which was too sweet and seemed like it was designed mostly to compete with Gentleman Jack.

Greg said...

I completely agree, Dickel flies under the radar and Diageo could do better with this product if marketing were a little more aggressive and focused. I like the fact that Dickel releases the Barrel Select but I for one would love to see a SB, cask strength version.