View Full Version : Dickel 10 YO Special Barrel Reserve

10-26-2001, 08:41
A friend recently gave me a 2 oz. sample bottle of George Dickel 10 year old Special Barrel Reserve. I had never tasted any Dickel product before, so I thought I'd post my impressions:

Color: light umber

Body: surprisingly thick, given the proof and charcoal filtering. Heavy in the glass, with wiry, long-lasting legs.

Nose: toasted coconut, burnt sugar pralines.

Mouthfeel: creamy, with a long-delayed alcohol bite. Some oak at the sides of the tongue.

Taste: initially empty with a unidimensional sweetness. With some time, however, a medley of flavors and aromas develop which are evocative of an old-time country store. Karo syrup, horehound cough drops, soot (kerosene lanterns?), worn old floorboards, nails in kegs. Wool (I read somewhere that the Dickel distillery covers their maple charcoal ricks with old blankets and lets the whiskey drip through them first to even out the distribution over the charcoal beneath), leather (are those old blankets horse blankets?).

Finish: short to medium, without new flavor notes but a whiff of heat midway through (someone just poked the wood fire).

Tobacco pairing (since I always light a pipe after my first sips): I used Butera's Kingfisher for the job - a densely-pressed flake that is double-cut and crumbles easily. It has a very pronounced time-sequenced lineup of flavors - first there's the honest, earthy, working man's taste of burley, followed by a long period of naturally sweet aged Virginias, and finally the dark fig/stewed fruit richness of perique. In this case the Dickel appeared to leach out the intensity of the burley and also suppressed the late complex fruitiness of the perique, bringing out the straightforward tobacco taste of the Virginias in the blend. This whiskey would go well with a straight dark-stoved Virginia (McClelland's Dark Star or S. Gawith's Full Virginia Flake) or perhaps a good medium dark cigar.

Pants rating: 2 pairs of overalls (Oshkosh, b'gosh)

General impression: "...Come on in, set a spell - cracker barrel's over here by the Franklin stove....Here, try some o' this..."

10-26-2001, 15:19
Finally Ralph writes a tasting! I like it. Seems accurate to me, as it neatly encompasses my Dickel experiences. Pants rating is very cool at two pair of overalls. Thanks Ralph. I enjoyed it.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

10-27-2001, 10:09
Thanks for the kind words, Linn - my poor old taste buds are not so good with lighter whiskies, so I'm glad to hear that you got the same flavors from the Dickel. I'm working on a Hirsch rye tasting - I have the chance for a 3-way comparison between the Hirsch, Classic Cask 15 YO and Van Winkle 13 YO ryes. It will be educational for me, and might be of interest to other fans of the primal American whiskey.


10-27-2001, 12:19
Ralph I neglected to say how good your tobacco description was. I can't drink bourbon without smoking. Bourbon and Tobacco just go together.

I'm looking forward to your Hirsch tasting. How about posting separate tasting notes on each one and then a three way comparison?

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

02-25-2004, 20:51
I'm having dinner the other night at Compass restaurant on the upper west side of Manhattan and quickly grew bored with the bartender's lack of cocktail skills so I begin perusing the booze lineup on the backbar. Lo, and behold, if I don't spot the Dickel 10 YO. I very nonchalantly ordered a glass with one cube. To my delight, the bartender poured the rest of the bottle into my glass. "I hope you aren't driving," she chuckled. And to top it all off, she charged me for a single shot of "Dickel #12." After this huge pour and the biggest lamb burger I've ever eaten in my life, I went home a happy girl.