View Full Version : George Dickel -- Not Dead After All
One surprise at last night's Whiskeyfest in Chicago was the presence of George Dickel. They were promoting the white label No. 12, which seems to have a new label design. They were passing out a newsletter dated "Spring 2003," called the Cascade Hollow Courier. It was the typical distiller newsletter, i.e., decidedly news-free, but it did announce a contest, tied to fly fishing. Their web site (http://www.dickel.com) also appears to have been recently updated. They were kind of defensive when I asked "what's going on with Dickel?" Dave Backus said they are making whiskey "from time to time." He and the two marketing punks all said "We have plenty of whiskey" and one cracked wise with, "you keep drinking it and we'll worry about the supply." At any event, they appear to be doing something, which is news enough.
When I first tasted the Dickel whiskeys (ie. different ages) some years ago I found them restrained in palate and sort of harsh. There was a white label marketed in Canada indicated as 10 years old. I bought that but found it not much different to the regular Black label. I blended these two Dickels about three years ago. At first, the vatting seemed not to make much difference. As the years went by, an enormous improvement occurred. I believe both the vatting, as it married, and the aeration in the bottle, softened the whiskey and brought out complexities not there before. It is now one of my favourite whiskies, this blend. While the aromatic effects of the charcoal leaching are not as pronounced as in Jack Daniel, they are there and accent the corn sweetness perfectly. There is also a "matured" taste which I think comes from the extra years in the bottle. I was reading that harsh volatiles, even latent CO2 gas, can come off whiskey in its earlier period in the bottle (apparently, the first six months especially).
Matured George Dickel has excellent characteristics for drinking straight. I find Jack Daniel, for example, hard to drink straight except for some barrels of the JD Single Barrel. It is made for mixing, I think, whereas the Dickel aged a few years in the bottle seems perfect for straight drinking.
Some whiskeys (I know this is not scientific) seem to concentrate in the bottle. The Rowan's Creek certainly does because sampling from bottles where the whiskey was nearing the bottom (and being, I know, in the bar for some time) as against the same whiskey from a bottle almost filled showed marked differences between the two.
In sum, my Dickel blend, nearing unfortunately the end of its life, is one of those whiskeys that seem to concentrate down in the bottle giving intense, balanced flavors.
George Dickel "white" label was my American whiskey of choice for many years until I started my "bourbon tasting adventure" about two years ago. (I put white in quotation marks because it is not really white at all, more of a yellowish beige).
I haven't bought a bottle in those two years, but maybe I'll get one, now, mainly to see how my tastes have changed. It will be interesting.
Long live George Dickel! Especially the old No. 12 white label.
This is promising news Chuck. Here in the South, Dickel lines the shelves in droves. But I've heard that it's become scarce in certain northern locales and with all that's been said here at the forum about Dickel's demise, I was beginning to get worried.
Hopefully we'll see an upswing in activity in Cascade Hollow. It would be a crying shame for this whiskey to fade away.
George Dickel is readily available here in NY, and I too think it's good stuff! Hopefully, they'll continue to have enough demand that they will not shut like so many others have done.
I just bought a bottle the other day (for use in iced tea, primarily) It is VERY VERY sweet, but quite good. Still mile ahead of that crap from the black label competitor.
I'm proud of you, my boy. You had a drink before you took the picture.
I hadn't thought about that but you're right, Dickel (the No. 12 certainly) is far superior to JD.
A couple days ago I received The Cascade Hollow Courier in the mail. At first I couldn't imagine how I had gotten on their mailing list. Then I noticed that the masthead also has two mentions of The George Dickel Water Conservation Society in very small type. I think I recall trying to sign up with GDWCS around the time I found SB.com, which was over a year ago. This mailing is the first response, IIRC.
In line with what you wrote, at least 95% of the space is devoted to people and their activities, mainly hunting, fishing, and defense. The portrayal of a bottle of No. 12 is small and off to one side. The overall effect is that of an ad in a men's magazine, rather than a marketing piece for George Dickel whisky.
Also included is a signed message from one Jennings D. Backus, Master Distiller. Just what does a Master Distiller do when no whisk(e)y is being distilled?
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. Just what does a Master Distiller do when no whisk(e)y is being distilled?
Collect a check on Friday , Regale the Glory Days. They can be as involved in removing the Bourbon from the barrel as in the filling of them. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Some Master Distillers are also marketing guys in a way. There are nameless , faceless work(wo)men ( no disrespect intended) Who can fire up those stills and make a run without someones famous cousin or whoever blessing each move. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
Yep I bought that bottle on a mission and I couldnt be bothered to wait until my wife came home (the camera was in the car).
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