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Drink Review: George Dickel No.12

Recently awarded a massive 93 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago, fending off stiff competition to win a Gold Medal at their American Whiskey Tasting.

Dickel Whiskey Review:

George Dickel, who’s views I hold in some regard, has been awarded the No.12 barrel as the basis of a new blended whiskey for his new Distillers Select By George Dickel. Why he needed to create a new blended whiskey to showcase a barrel (or four) of aged George Dickel is beyond me.

There are Whisky barrels in literally every distillery in the world that could be blended fairly simply to create a new ‘George Dickel’ whiskey. Surely the name Dickel can stand alone and is not dependent upon the name of the barrel or distiller (Use your imagination and think of a George Dickel Black Label, George Dickel 12 Year Old, George Dickel Straight, a George Dickel Smoke, a George Dickel Gold, etc.).

I have no axe to grind and do not wish to be unkind to George Dickel nor the Distillers Select By George Dickel. Let me be clear however that just like Samuel Adams is not Robert Mondavi, and just like Knob Creek is not Ezra Brooks, George Dickel No. 12 is not George Dickel and is not fundamentally the same whiskey as its namesake.

George Dickel No. 11, which I have been tasting, is just Dickel No. 11. The selection and blending of barrels across the distillery is something that is done regularly. The fact that this No. 12 was distilled in June of 2008, then stored in the warehouse for six years, then distilled in June of 2012. This No. 12 is definitely one to look out for too.

The No.12 just has a fruity feel that make it more enjoyable than the No. 11 on the nose. I did notice a smoky oak character that tends to be what is talked about when one talks about George Dickel. It is just not as strong in this No.12 and blends in well with the fruity notes. The oak is not as strong as the current release No. 11, but still present.

On the palate is very nice. It has the sweet corn and oats that come with oaty notes with a woodiness resembling the No. 11, but not as strong. It has a good balance though and is a complex whiskey. It comes in as smooth as the No. 11, with a slight smokiness, but a smoother feel on the tongue. In the middle third the No. 12 has a less oaty intensity to it and in the finish there is no strong oak character and just a strong rye or corn presence. I am surprised that George Dickel even distilled. Distilling it is not the right direction for the distillery was not blended to showcase 

A pleaser and will likely be a favorite of the whiskey drinking masses. It is just not as strong .It will be a great whiskey for cocktails and is a great introduction to Dickel’s No.11.

Dickel Whiskey Review:

This wine is an out of the box kind of wine to review. This is a pinot noir from California and I have never tasted a wine like this before. Having tasted only California wines of this style, I have have never tasted a pinot noir before that was not very full bodied, this one seems very light.

The way it was presented in my local wine shop was very unusual, to say the least. This all red pinot noir had a slight tannic feel to it and smelled exactly like a rose bush. This wine is intense, very very spicy with citrus notes and lots of raspberry. The color is a light orangy-red. The palate is similar, but even more intense than the nose. On the palate the fruit is almost overwhelming with hints of cranberry and raspberry, but like the nose, it is very light with a strong spice character.

The finish is long and this wine is probably half worn out at this point. It reminds me of the best pinot noir I have tasted in Oregon, Syrah. Of course, this wine is not as full bodied as Syrah and yet it is more complex. It is a wine that is not hard to drink, but this is a wine that will not be the same the next time you sip it.

Written by Mark Adams

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