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View Full Version : Dickel - What's Diageo's Problem?



sku
09-15-2010, 12:19
I just did a blog post (link below) on Dickel 8 which is now, after a long drought, is in pretty good supply in LA shops. I really like the 8 though not as much as the 12, and both are about as good a whiskey as you can get for their respective prices.

My question (and frustration) is why does Diageo pretty much ignore this great distillery. Diageo is very aggressive about marketing its Scotch and Bulleit, but they seem to view Dickel as a complete afterthought. I would love to see something cask strength or some new more upmarket expressions.

Any thoughts?


http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2010/09/whiskey-wednesday-budget-booze-george.html

OscarV
09-15-2010, 13:07
I would love to see something cask strength or some new more upmarket expressions.

Any thoughts?





Yes, ofcourse I'd love to get some barrel strength Dickel.
But maybe they don't think it would be worthwhile as far as sales go.
I wonder if they do private selections?
How about a SB.com Dickel barrel?
It would be a first.

ratcheer
09-15-2010, 14:00
My thought is that Dickel is probably just a small drop in a large ocean for Diageo.

Tim

Josh
09-15-2010, 17:30
My question (and frustration) is why does Diageo pretty much ignore this great distillery. Diageo is very aggressive about marketing its Scotch and Bulleit, but they seem to view Dickel as a complete afterthought. I would love to see something cask strength or some new more upmarket expressions.

Any thoughts?

I too would like to see more offerings from Dickel but I wonder if the folks in Tullahoma like being ignored by Diageo. They get more leeway to do what they want to do without Brits breathing down their necks and micromanaging.

cowdery
09-15-2010, 22:15
Dickel kind of takes care of itself and sells where it sells. Investment in trying to sell more hasn't paid off. They've got their customers, who will buy it whether they advertise it or not, but they haven't found anything that will move the needle. Plus the warehouses are full so they can't increase production without building more warehouses. They've told me they are rising with the tide--when American whiskey sales increase overall theirs increase at about the same rate--so they are growing at a managed pace. Because their marketing costs are so low, the brand is small but profitable. There's also the thing of great big Diageo not giving much attention to something so small, especially since it is performing pretty well on the balance sheet. Bulleit, by contrast, is competing for share in a dynamic segment.

SMOWK
09-16-2010, 16:16
They've told me they are rising with the tide--when American whiskey sales increase overall theirs increase at about the same rate--so they are growing at a managed pace. Because their marketing costs are so low, the brand is small but profitable.

Marketing alcohol seems useless to me. I don't pay much attention to it. I would imagine most users of this forum don't either. We drink what we like. If it's good, we'll buy it. Rather than marketing, owners should put their money into making a better product at a cheaper price.

The age of the internet is upon us. Marketing just "happens", in forums like this, when a product is worthy. I don't think I've ever seen a Van Winkle ad.

Unfortunately, the "good bourbon" business is always 10-15 years behind.

ILLfarmboy
09-16-2010, 18:14
Marketing alcohol seems useless to me. I don't pay much attention to it.

I pay far more atention to the marketing of a product that I already buy, and would buy again, than to things I've never tried. That goes for all consumer goods.

Generally speaking, I have a rough outline of what fits my wants, then I go in search of it, in stores or on the Internet. Advertisements are back round noise.

MJL
09-18-2010, 05:31
I just love Dickel whiskey and have liked it since I started drinking. For whatever reason it just speaks to me and my tastes. That said I would dearly love to see some more diverse offerings from this facility. Barrel strength would be nice, special offerings and perhaps some experimental offerings would be a nice change and would certainly gin up some excitment for the brand.

AVB
09-21-2010, 15:56
PA used to stock Dickel on the shelves but then discontinued it and now three years later are bringing back #8. It's a start but I'd rather have #12.

Martian
09-22-2010, 09:29
I noticed Dickel Cascade Hollow won a Double Gold Medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits competition.

SMOWK
09-22-2010, 12:25
I haven't had a bottle of Dickel in quite some time. After all this talk, I think it's time.

CorvallisCracker
09-22-2010, 16:06
I noticed Dickel Cascade Hollow won a Double Gold Medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits competition.

:slappin:

Seriously, what is wrong with those people? :skep:

callmeox
09-22-2010, 16:10
:slappin:

Seriously, what is wrong with those people? :skep:


What was the category? Least offensive barrel dregs under 4 years old?

callmeox
09-22-2010, 16:16
Wow, I bet Dickel would love to bury these results...

Tennessee Whiskey
Double Gold Medal, George Dickel Cascade Hollow Tennessee Whiskey, USA [40%] Need Price,
Gold Medal, George Dickel No. 8 Tennessee Whiskey, USA [40%] $17.
Gold Medal, George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whiskey, USA [40%] $19.
Gold Medal, George Dickel Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey, USA [40%] $19.

SMOWK
09-22-2010, 16:18
With enough hype, you can get a group of people to agree anything is good.

A buddy of mine always finds it funny to fill good bottles of bourbon with bottom shelf stuff and laugh at how good everyone thinks it is.

CorvallisCracker
09-22-2010, 16:40
A buddy of mine always finds it funny to fill good bottles of bourbon with bottom shelf stuff and laugh at how good everyone thinks it is.

Does he work at Jim Beam?

SMOWK
09-22-2010, 16:42
Does he work at Jim Beam?

:slappin: good question. he would like to think so.

squire
12-14-2010, 18:18
I would like to see a return of the 10 yr 86 proof.

Jono
01-01-2011, 17:06
Had my first Dickel tonight - a very nice whiskey.

squire
01-01-2011, 17:27
I keep passing this on the shelf thinking I will get a bottle next time. Maybe it's time.

cigarnv
01-02-2011, 04:17
I have always found the GD 8 and 12 very nice whiskey. Soft and easy to drink they always work well with a cigar. IMO a much better whiskey than JD....

proof and age
01-08-2011, 16:55
Dickel did not produce for quite a long time from what I have heard, which led to a shortage, which led to a stampede to get what was to be gotten and drove up the demand. Have tasted, not too bad for a whiskey that is not Straight.

craigthom
01-08-2011, 19:45
Dickel did not produce for quite a long time from what I have heard, which led to a shortage, which led to a stampede to get what was to be gotten and drove up the demand. Have tasted, not too bad for a whiskey that is not Straight.

The distillery was shut down from 1999 to 2003, which I wouldn't call "quite a long time", and I really don't think it drove up demand. It was almost ten years before they made the decision to stop shipping the No. 8, and that didn't last two long. And they had enough just to sell Cascade Hollow with two different labels.

(I say that stopped shipping No. 8 rather than ran out, because I think they could have kept bottling it, but not without hurting the No. 12 down the road).

proof and age
01-09-2011, 16:07
The distillery was shut down from 1999 to 2003, which I wouldn't call "quite a long time", and I really don't think it drove up demand. It was almost ten years before they made the decision to stop shipping the No. 8, and that didn't last two long. And they had enough just to sell Cascade Hollow with two different labels.

(I say that stopped shipping No. 8 rather than ran out, because I think they could have kept bottling it, but not without hurting the No. 12 down the road).

I will assume that you are correct on the shut down period, '99-'03, and argue that this is in fact "quite a long time". As production is wound down, less is made, and with aging in play, and the difficulties of resuming production after long lay offs, you are looking at 3-4 years after '03 until there would be any marketable product.

cowdery
01-10-2011, 01:25
Diageo has been shockingly bad at reading the U.S. market for U.S.-made whiskey. Just about the exact moment Diageo bets on one direction, the market goes the other way. So it was when they pulled the reigns in on Dickel. The ultimate problem there was they had some EPA stuff they had to do before they could reopen the plant, so they had to wait until they decided to put Dickel more or less back into full production before they could justify the expense of the EPA abatement. Then, of course, the market went boom and they were shown to have waited too long. It is correct to say they had to stop bottling No. 8 to protect the supply for the more profitable No. 12 and single barrel. They probably did okay -- a rising tide and all that -- but they probably missed out on some volume and, more importantly, share that they could have had. They're making the same mistake right now with Bulleit, in not biting the bullet and giving Bulleit a real distillery.

ThomasH
01-10-2011, 06:06
Thats Diageo for you. I take it that Dickel had some asbestos isssues that needed abated before it could reopen. S-W has some too. They should spend the money on S-W and crank it back up. It would be mile cheaper than the expansions they have undertaken in Scotland in recent years!

Thomas

cowdery
01-10-2011, 13:16
You are correct about asbestos being an issue at S-W but I think the problem at Dickel had to do with treatment of the process water they typically return to the environment.

Shell
05-01-2011, 19:49
Dickel kind of takes care of itself and sells where it sells. Investment in trying to sell more hasn't paid off. They've got their customers, who will buy it whether they advertise it or not, but they haven't found anything that will move the needle. Plus the warehouses are full so they can't increase production without building more warehouses. They've told me they are rising with the tide--when American whiskey sales increase overall theirs increase at about the same rate--so they are growing at a managed pace. Because their marketing costs are so low, the brand is small but profitable. There's also the thing of great big Diageo not giving much attention to something so small, especially since it is performing pretty well on the balance sheet. Bulleit, by contrast, is competing for share in a dynamic segment.

Thanks for the insight, Chuck. Jack Daniel's is one of the world's largest selling spirit and, I believe, sells more whiskey than all other American brands combined. It may be that Diageo also realizes that they are unable to stand Dickel against Jack Daniel's in head-to-head competition and, as you say, are content with Dickel's current market share.

cowdery
05-02-2011, 18:44
Daniel's is the largest selling whiskey in the world, bigger than any single scotch brand too, and it outsells Dickel by several orders of magnitude, but it only sells a little more than Jim Beam and certainly does not sell more than all other American brands combined.

Diageo is funny. It's like being in a big family. You get attention sometimes when you least expect it. They may just decide to put a push on for Dickel one of these days.

Part of the issue, I think, is supply. They keep making a little more each year and they're selling all they can make, so why spend money to generate demand they can't supply?

Shell
05-03-2011, 07:16
Daniel's is the largest selling whiskey in the world, bigger than any single scotch brand too, and it outsells Dickel by several orders of magnitude, but it only sells a little more than Jim Beam and certainly does not sell more than all other American brands combined. ...

Chuck, Thanks for information - and for the correction to my impression about Jack Daniel's volume. Shell

cowdery
05-03-2011, 12:15
I wish I knew how much Evan Williams sells, but privately-owned Heaven Hill doesn't give out sales figures. I know it's number three behind Jack and Jim. I suspect it's a very distant number three but I don't know for sure.

tmckenzie
05-04-2011, 03:35
I did notice they have a new website. Better than their old one. I love the stuff. It has always been the whiskey I will treat myself with. I just wish it was not so damned expensive up here. A 750 of the cascade hollow is 24 bucks and it gets higher from there.

flintlock
05-05-2011, 19:45
It's just really, really nice whiskey. I only wish it was 100 proof.

The distillery has to be among the hardest to find in the country - I got lost both going and coming when I swung by there on the way up to the Sampler. Whoever settled Cascade Hollow must have found it by accident...

boss302
05-07-2011, 11:45
George Dickel No. 8 has become my "Daily Sipper." I have plenty of real, authentic "Bourbon" whiskeys in my collection, but sitting back with a couple glasses of No. 8 is one of life's simple pleasures. I simply cannot find a "bourbon-esque" whiskey of more smoothness, refinement, and affordability than George Dickel No. 8.

Gillman
08-22-2011, 14:20
Tasting the current George Dickel Barrel Select which is - for once the word is justified - a smooth, characterful drink of whiskey. No taste of "crunchy vitamins", which characterized the brand (all iterations) some years ago IMO and I found off-putting. A silkier shot of U.S. whiskey would be hard to envisage. Kudos to Dickel for putting a renewed emphasis on this brand at least - now I'll try the others again.

Gary

sutton
08-22-2011, 17:53
Tasting the current George Dickel Barrel Select which is - for once the word is justified - a smooth, characterful drink of whiskey. No taste of "crunchy vitamins", which characterized the brand (all iterations) some years ago IMO and I found off-putting. A silkier shot of U.S. whiskey would be hard to envisage. Kudos to Dickel for putting a renewed emphasis on this brand at least - now I'll try the others again.

Gary

Hi Gary,

When was yours bottled? Mine is from 2006, and I found a strong charcoal note on the finish - I just opened it and I'm hoping this will fade over time...

Gillman
08-22-2011, 18:11
The bottle was recently bought in Florida but looking at the label, I see it states on the back "Hand Selected in 2006", so perhaps it was bottled five years ago. I don't detect any charcoal scents - some Dickel does have that, but not this one. Perhaps they differ (the various bottlings) to some degree, being a small batch. I would think the charcoal notes will lift over time, I find this occurs in general with Tennessee whiskey. Anyway this bottle was a winner and I'll deinitely try Dickel again (any brand of it).

Gary

StraightBoston
08-25-2011, 09:37
Anyway this bottle was a winner and I'll deinitely try Dickel again (any brand of it).

A brave statement, Gary -- I always enjoy No. 12 but I find the 3yo red-label Cascade Hollow to be unforgivably hot and harsh!

Gillman
08-25-2011, 12:49
I agree, I meant the black and beige labels. I tried the red label twice and was very disappointed. But I'll give the others a try for sure based on the quality of this small batch bottling.

Gary

cowdery
08-26-2011, 21:40
The Dickel distillery at its best makes a very well-balanced whiskey.

jmpyle
09-02-2011, 05:43
Indeed Dickel does make a beautifully balanced whiskey. I feel the No.8, while a tad flat, is a very nice whiskey. No. 12 I'd categorize as an excellent whiskey at any price. Factor in value and it gets even better. The barrel select bottle I just purchased and reviewed was outstanding. Very much in line with No. 12, but as you would expect a bit more barrel and spice flavors, which translated as slightly better than No. 12 for me (price removed from the equation of course).

cowdery
09-03-2011, 15:21
Back to the original thread topic, "What's Diageo's problem?" I break it down in the current issue of WHISKY Magazine (No. 97).

sku
09-03-2011, 17:32
Back to the original thread topic, "What's Diageo's problem?" I break it down in the current issue of WHISKY Magazine (No. 97).

Just read it Chuck...great article. So if Diageo buys Beam do you think they will jettison Dickel?

cowdery
09-03-2011, 23:33
"Kick to the curb" doesn't necessarily mean 'jettison.' They'll only get rid of brands that give them anti-trust problems, which Dickel won't.

sku
09-04-2011, 08:44
The other thing that the acquisition would give Diageo is Laphroaig, which sells more than any of Diageo's single malts, though they already have two peated Islays in their portfolio (Lagavulin and Caol Ila) as well as Talisker from Skye.

cowdery
09-04-2011, 16:03
If Diageo bought Beam Inc. it would probably have to unload just about everything except the bourbons, although it could choose to keep some of Beam's brands, such as Laphroaig, and sell some of the competing ones it now owns, such as Talisker.

clingman71
09-04-2011, 19:21
Great article. I drove through Cincy today, its been 4-5 weeks since my last pass through. The Cincy Beam location looks shut down? Looked operational last time through.

Josh
09-04-2011, 20:50
Great article. I drove through Cincy today, its been 4-5 weeks since my last pass through. The Cincy Beam location looks shut down? Looked operational last time through.

It was shut down last year. IIRC.

clingman71
09-04-2011, 21:02
Earlier this summer there were still signs up and trucks on the lot. Nothing today.

cowdery
09-06-2011, 08:46
It was supposed to shut down this year. That plant primarily made DeKuyper products, which involves mixing GNS with flavoring. All of that was transferred to Beam in Frankfort. They haven't said what's going to happen to the facility itself. I assume they'll sell it if they can. I don't know much about the neighborhood, but I suspect if it has any value it's just for the real estate.

deathevocation
03-17-2012, 20:08
I bought a litre of the 12 whilst in Singapore. You can't get any Dickel in Australia. Pity.

stiffchainey
03-31-2012, 12:13
I had both Dickel 8 and 12 yo, which are usually hard to get in Germany, and with a price just around 45 per litre, I personally think it is expensive and for that price slightly overrated...

flintlock
05-07-2012, 09:05
I bought a litre of the 12 whilst in Singapore. You can't get any Dickel in Australia. Pity.


I had both Dickel 8 and 12 yo, which are usually hard to get in Germany, and with a price just around 45 per litre, I personally think it is expensive and for that price slightly overrated...


I agree - it's overpriced at 45 Euros per liter, but just barely. I'd pay that if I had to. I've paid more for worse whiskey.

Australia may get its wish...

I was at Dickel last week and the tour guide said that they had just had a visit from Diageo management (he said the private jet buzzed the distillery grounds). He said big changes were apparently in the works. Lots of rumors, none substantiated, but the gist of it seems to be that Diageo wants to ramp up production and start shipping to Australia and other overseas markets in a bigger way. He also said that bottling might move back to the distillery rather than shipping it to Maryland. A present "bottleneck" on production is that they only have one shift of workers and the rickhouses are full.

He said that the Red Label is going bye-bye. "If you like the stuff, you better stock up quick." I'll get right on that... :lol:

Amusingly, they also will have to wear orange safety vests on the tour, which is silly - it's just one little building. And they may cover the mash tubs to keep anything (or anyone) from falling in. I wonder how many cell phones have made it to the bottom of Jack Daniel's mash tubs?

So maybe they're going to try to make a move with Dickel. So long as they don't change the quality of the 12 and the Barrel Select, I don't care if they sell it on Mars.

camduncan
05-07-2012, 14:51
That's exciting news.... thanks for sharing Ryan. I've lived in hope for about 10 years now the Dickel would be back in Australia one day. I hope it pans out!

BFerguson
05-07-2012, 19:17
Speaking of the barrel select, has anybody seen one recently that isn't labeled from 2006?

Did just just make a overrun of the labels back then and are using them up? Seems unlikely that all of them can be from then.

B

flintlock
05-14-2012, 17:04
Speaking of the barrel select, has anybody seen one recently that isn't labeled from 2006?

Did just just make a overrun of the labels back then and are using them up? Seems unlikely that all of them can be from then.

B

Heh...yeah, the bottle I bought 2 weeks ago is dated 2006. I kinda doubt that. They're probably using up the labels.

tmckenzie
05-15-2012, 04:49
I know there has been some talk of breakout premium rye being Dickel juice.
Well I bought a bottle yesterday and being a big fan of Dickel, I will bet my last dollar that it is a rye mash made at dickel and even went through the charcoal mellowing process. I just wonder why they did not release it themselves. Nice product.

Shell
05-15-2012, 06:00
I know there has been some talk of breakout premium rye being Dickel juice.
Well I bought a bottle yesterday and being a big fan of Dickel, I will bet my last dollar that it is a rye mash made at dickel and even went through the charcoal mellowing process. I just wonder why they did not release it themselves. Nice product.

What did the label say? If it didn't say Dickel Rye, what was the brand?

cowdery
05-15-2012, 15:20
What did the label say? If it didn't say Dickel Rye, what was the brand?

I don't think anyone is suggesting the rye came from Dickel. Why would they be making a rye? Diageo, which owns Dickel, is buying rye for Bulleit Rye from LDI, so why would they make a rye at Dickel for somebody else?

I think the rumor (which I heard from a source I used to think was reliable but lately I'm not so sure) was that they had acquired some bulk Dickel from Diageo and that's what they're bottling as their Tennessee Whiskey.

tmckenzie
05-15-2012, 16:45
One main reason I say it is dickel is that there is a show a PBS show did that is several years old I watched on Dickel. I think it is now on youtube. On Lunn's desk is a sample bottle and if I remember right it says dickel rye. It was white dog. I just had a couple more drinks of it. I am pretty sure it must be from them.

cowdery
05-15-2012, 17:38
Well, if so, then the fact that they sold it to somebody else and didn't bring it out themselves ought to tell you something.

tmckenzie
05-15-2012, 18:29
If I had to say why, then it maybe they did not have enough for it to be worth the trouble. But it really does taste a lot like their regular whiskey. Maybe it did not taste different enough. The rye taste is really subdued. It has a lot of that dickel taste some refer to as tasting like vitamins. On another note, it is a wierd thing to look at a bottle that says the tennesee spirits company, and on the back it says bottled in pewaukee, wi.

wadewood
05-15-2012, 19:40
http://www.midwestcustombottling.com/ Googling pewaukee, wi and whiskey and I find this link.

White Dog
05-16-2012, 06:50
That's where they "make" Rumchata. In fact, you can see Rumchata bottles coming off the line on the website.

shoshani
05-20-2012, 08:33
It has a lot of that dickel taste some refer to as tasting like vitamins.

I've described Dickel as tasting like brewer's yeast. Specifically the compressed tablets sold as a chewable vitamin. :)