View Full Version : Is my Dickel bad?

04-02-2003, 18:24
Ok, so with all of this great talk of George Dickel Whiskey I picked up my first bottle a couple of nights ago. I have waited a bit to post this to ensure that I wasn't having a bad night. This is the first time I have been repulsed by a whiskey to the point of not finishing a drink. Imagine for a moment if you will. Take a bottle of cheap generic vitamins, put them in your glove-box and leave them in the hot car all summer long. Now open it up and take a deep whiff. Got that? Now add a fresh handful of wet sod and hay. That's what I get from this bottle of GD #12. The vitamin taste is overpowering and the sod comes on at the finish. Goes down smooth though :puke:Could it be that I have a bad bottle. Does anyone get even the slightest hints of vitamins and grass? Dare I say I like JD Black label better?:skep:

04-02-2003, 18:59
Its okay, Jeff. You can be wrong every now and then. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif


04-02-2003, 20:12
There's nothing sadder than a bad Dickle.

It's possible you got a bad bottle. It's also possible you're coming down with a cold or took too many vitamins or you just don't like George Dickel. Do other whiskeys in your stash taste okay? Do you have someone else handy who at least can say whether or not the stuff tastes like bourbon? You made me go crack the mini they gave me last week at Whiskeyfest and it tastes fine. Did you notice any evaporation before you opened it?

If none of these suggestions is helpful, my bourbon disposal service is at your, well, disposal.

04-03-2003, 05:35
It's funny that you mention it, but I woke up this morning with a full-blown sinus infection of some sort. Maybe that is part of the problem. Three days ago I had some Rare Breed that tasted fine. Two nights ago I tasted the Dickle for the first time and after that I didn't want anything else http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif Last night I tried again with the same results and no desire for bourbon, or a cigar for that matter. I guess I should wait a couple of days and try it again before I proclaim it 'rotgut' http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

04-03-2003, 05:38
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Its okay, Jeff. You can be wrong every now and then


Just ask Leslie, you'll find that I'm wrong most of the time http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

04-03-2003, 11:39
An old riddle follows.

If a man says something in a forest, and his wife isn't there to hear it, is he wrong anyway? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

04-04-2003, 19:25
"rotgut" ? You must be sick or something but then again I like Rebel Yell. Makers Mark taste like rotgut to me but I imagine all this could be attributed to different body chemistries and personal preferance. Dickel is made for sipping...lol

04-05-2003, 15:57

IMO GD No. 12 is as different from a mainstream bourbon, say Old Forester BIB or WT101, as is a well-balanced s----- (e.g., Highland Park or Famous Grouse) or irish.

Michael Jackson was all but speechless when he tried to describe its subtleties, saying that doing so was like trying to describe the colors of the rainbow.

I happen to like GD No. 12, but for some reason I seldom drink it. I bought my one and only bottle (so far) about a year ago, at the same time I bought my first bottles of Blanton's and Rittenhouse rye, both of which are long gone. I still have almost half a bottle of the GD No. 12.

My point is that its flavor is unlikely to appeal to every person who likes bourbon. Even for those who like it, it may turn out to be a change-of-pace drink rather than a staple.

My own pathetic attempt to describe it includes damp, rotting logs in early Spring (as though morel mushrooms may be sprouting nearby), wildflowers, and peanut butter.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

04-05-2003, 16:23
On the aside....
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
as though morel mushrooms may be sprouting nearby


The Mayapples are unfurling, all we need are a few warm nights , some showers and sunshine and we have them. BTW in a book I read about them , eating them and drinking alcohol can cause problems , I have done it myself and noticed nothing . For those of you who have reservations about eating wild mushrooms , all I can say is , and Daves post reminded me of it, that there are indeed still some things better than Stagg, in their own realm.

Bobby's Check list for Posting

1 Be nice, It's not that hard , really
2 Try to work in a more or less unrelated topic to the thread
3 Work Stagg into the post!

Check, Check, Check! Got it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

04-05-2003, 16:34

I once read a book about gathering wild mushrooms in which the author rated various species not as poisonous and non-poisonous, but as to the degree to which they made his face go numb after he ate them. Now that's a hard-core mushroom fan.

On the humor side, I once saw a cartoon that depicted a man lying ill in bed, his family gathered around, and a doctor at his side. The doctor announced, "He's one very sick mushroom expert." http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

My dad liked morels dipped in egg batter, breaded in cracker crumbs, and sauteed in butter. I was in my late 20's before I acquired a taste for them cooked that way. I bet they'd be great with Stagg, or OGD BIB for that matter.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

04-10-2003, 16:50
Full-blown Bronchitis and Sinusitis. That was the diagnosis I recieved the day after this posting. I think this probably greatly affected my tasting of this whiskey. I tried it again just now with little to none of the off notes that I previously described. I will do another tasting in a couple more days as I regain my health and taste buds and try to appreciate it a little more. Not bad today, just not all that good either. This could also explain why the Knob Creek that I am drinking now actually tastes ok to me today http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif <font color="green"> </font color>

04-10-2003, 17:48
I got a library book on Japanese influence in the Garden. I got about 3 pages down when inspiration struck. I had about enough time before dark to cart most of the prunings from some junipers to a brush pile . Fast work with a wheelborrow and a pitch fork. On the way back I noticed a Morel Mushroom at the dripline of a small crabapple. 5 of them total. My son and I have a bunch of 5 dollar bets on these, The first, the biggest and the most. Of course I haven't collected on the Kansas and Syracuse Game yet . The tip, first 3 point shot, leading at half time, and the winner. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

05-28-2003, 15:40
Well, almost 2 months have passed since my last taste of GD #12. I have completely recovered from my sinus infection and I thought I would give it another try. Actually I was searching for my bottle of Buffalo Trace when I came upon the Dickle, which I had almost forgotten about. The "vitamin" notes that I described earlier are still there, but much less pronounced. The "sod" taste is completely gone. Tried it neat and on the rocks, and I think I prefer it with a few ice cubes in the glass. Personally I don't know what all the fuss is about regarding the charcoal "mellowing". Most bourbons that I enjoy are smoother than this. I guess I'm a purist.

I think I might have figured out the problem though. On the back of my bottle it says, "Bottled in Canada." What's up with that? Just leave it to the half-frenchies to mess something up. I bet they bottled some scotch and put the wrong label on it http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif ! I might have to search out an American bottling of this whiskey and give it another chance!

05-28-2003, 19:02
Just leave that Lincoln County process stuff in the bottle and drink some BOURBON, Jeff. I recommend drinking nothing that has to be "processed." Well, on second thought, keep it around to drink during sinus infections. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

05-28-2003, 20:54
It just so happens I've got a 50 ml bottle of GD #12 on the shelf right here behind my workstation.

I do indeed detect what you describe as vitamins Jeff. I remember when I was a kid my mother gave me some sort of yellow vitamin made by McKesson. Looked like candy to me so I popped it in my mouth and began to suck on it. Bad idea http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif

The flavor of that McKesson non-lozenge is in here, as well an aldehyde like aftertaste that I find most displeasing. It does possess vanilla, butterscotch, and oak notes that are quite agreeable, but are unfortunately overshadowed by the forementioned nasties.

By the way Jeff, "Half-Frenchies" is quite the pejorative term. From now on, use "New World Frogs" instead http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

09-12-2003, 09:15
Dickel is a prime example that "older does not always mean better". United Distillers still owns Dickel and the distillery has been closed for several years. When I left the company at the end of 1996, they were using 10 year old whisky in the #12 - it was the same as their Heritage collection whisky but at a higher proof. Since then I have had some Dickel and the age has definetly increased and the quality lowered. There is indeed some tastes that should not be there at 15 to 18 years old. They need to get rid of their excess whiskey and start putting 8 to 10 year old product in the bottle again.

Mike Veach

09-29-2003, 11:58
Mike, all:

The No. 12 Dickel is now 12 years old, per story below. But, they resumed production last week, about 60 barrels a day. Master Distiller David Backus tells why their whisky is spelled without the 'e'.

PS. Their 'niche' customers are 35 to 49 year old men who hunt, fish and are predisposed to book transcontinental flights to complete their kilobottle collections. Uber. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif


09-29-2003, 13:14
I followed your link and noticed the following statement in the article:

Since whiskey gets better the longer it sits in the barrel, "we're giving away age," Backus said, but he would prefer to be selling bottles about half that old.

From the placement of the quotation marks I assume that the writer, not Mr. Backus, is responsible for the misstated first part of that sentence.

In any case, I can't help but wonder whether 12 years is too much age for the G.D. formula/process. At a younger six years, would the Flintstones taste be replaced by, let's say, Juju Fruits? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

09-29-2003, 13:50
There probably is a lot of 12 year old Dickel, but probably even more 13, 14, and 15 year old. They over produced in the early 90's because of grand marketing schemes that never paid off and they are dealing with the results now. Even so, I agree with Dave, they are giving away age - I am just not sure that that is a good thing with Dickel.

09-29-2003, 14:11
Now I'm curious if there's a reliable way to tell from the bottles (the bottom or perhaps the labels) which Dickel is actually 12 yrs plus. At that advanced age, it should taste different from what we have tasted/discussed here in the past. But the MD doesn't give any clues. You'd think he would use the op to get people curious, move inventory. Hmmm.


09-29-2003, 14:14
Hi Omar,

Good to see you back! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I've got a bottle of Dickle's Number 12 and I really like it. I have never noticed the "off" flavors that so many have commented on. Possibly I got lucky and bought a bottle that had been on the shelf for awhile. I would be cautious to replace what I have given the consensus here though.


09-29-2003, 20:12
Interesting.....I've heard absolutely nothing about this locally (Tullahoma is about 35 miles away). But this is most welcome news Omar...thanks!

"If people try it, they'll like it and become a customer," Quick said as he sipped his favorite -- Dickel mixed with SunDrop citrus soda.

LOL...I might have to give that a try......http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

-Troy http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

10-16-2003, 19:55
I love GD #12 myself, in part because it is one of those rare bottles in NC that is priced appropriately (i.e. anywhere from $12-15, depending on specials).

I haven't opened a new bottle since 2000 or so, but its damn good once you get used to the charcoal.


11-11-2003, 18:18
Tonight I am pouring the last of this infamous bottle of GD12. This is still the strangest tasting whiskey I have ever sampled. I have added splash of water tonight and this seems to have mellowed out some of the stronger vitamin notes, though the earthy sod taste is still present. The one good thing I can say about this whiskey is how very smooth it is. No burn or harshness whatsoever. I will now leave George Dickel #12 to those who can appreciate its qualities, as this is probably the last drink I will ever have. Au Revoir.

11-11-2003, 20:21
Bid good riddance, if you ask me, Jeff. Stick to the real thing--BOURBON--and leave Jack and George in their charcoal haze!

11-11-2003, 22:58
just had to add a note...that when Tom had a wicked sinus infection last winter...he didn't like any of his bourbon. To the point of getting rather depressed about it, and wondering if it was the water or the glassware or the soap, or how he was storing the bottles. A month and some clear sinuses later...everything tasted fine. Just wanted to let you know that on the sickness related to taste/smell/finish front...you aren't alone.

11-12-2003, 13:17
There is something different about Tennessee whiskey. I'd have thought the upfront soaking in charcoal would impart an "advance" smokiness, but that isn't really the case. It gives another quality to the whiskey, one hard to pin down. It is a good mixing whiskey (e.g. with Coke) but on its own, except in the best versions (Jack Single Barrel) I find the taste not as good as most Bourbon. I find Gentleman Jack has that non-Bourbon character in abundance; after all, it submits to charcoal leaching twice. Maybe perfumy is the right word. There seems too an astringency associated with the Tennessee style, although maybe it is because they are all sold (except one of the Dickel's) at relatively young ages. Speaking of age and Tennessee, in Michael Jackson's (1987) World Guide To Whisky, there is a picture of a bottle of Jack Daniel's, clearly pre-Prohibition, of which the label states the age as 21 years. Now that would be an interesting shot of whiskey to get down.


11-12-2003, 15:26
Word choice is everything, so one man's "mellowing" is another's "leaching." That's the word Kentucky whiskey-makers use to describe the Lincoln County Process, "leaching." I further characterize it as an aging shortcut. The whiskey has a lot of contact with char but no contact with the red layer that underlies the char in a barrel. Char will eliminate or transform certain congeners but it doesn't add any flavor. That comes from the other wood components that are present in a barrel but not in a stack of hardwood charcoal.

Kentucky whiskey-makers assert, and I agree, that the charcoal leaching process reduces harshness but at the cost of flavor. It generally produces whiskey that is inoffensive but bland. This quality, which some people characterize as "smoothness," accounts for the popularity of the Tennessee Whiskeys as well as Canadian whisky. The Canadians do it, not through leaching, but through high distillation proof and blending.

11-12-2003, 16:37
I enjoyed this, excellent and trenchant.


11-12-2003, 19:02
&gt;The whiskey has a lot of contact with char but no contact with the red
&gt;layer that underlies the char in a barrel. Char will eliminate or transform
&gt;certain congeners but it doesn't add any flavor. That comes from the other wood
&gt;components that are present in a barrel but not in a stack of hardwood

I've never been to a distillery in Tennessee, and I know very little about
the specifics of the Lincoln County process, but it seems to me that if
you're going to go to the trouble of using "sugar maple", then you should
make sure to leave some "red layer" at the heart of each piece of charcoal.
Or at least *some* of the charcoal.

Tim Dellinger

11-12-2003, 20:34
Perhaps they do, but would it matter in that environment? The whiskey takes a few hours to go through ten feet of charcoal. How deeply could it penetrate into any given piece?

11-12-2003, 23:36

If you will go here (http://www.jackdaniels.com/virtualtour.asp#) and advance to step 2, the rickyard, you will see a description of the charcoal-making process. The way I read it, I wouldn't expect anything but charcoal -- no red layer at all.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

11-21-2003, 00:32
Jeff, the title to your thread has got to be a classic on this forum. Cracks me up every time I see it. Freud would be proud.