View Full Version : George Dickel Math
OK, we just passed the fourth anniversary of the reopening of the Cascade Hollow distillery. Assuming it took them a little time to make charcoal we may still be short of them having any four year old whisky (sic) in barrels.
Unless I am missing something, there's a gap in their warehouses from four years to eight years. They may be using young whisky in their No. 12, but I think I read somewhere that four is their minimum.
That means that in the No. 12 bottled earlier this year is at worst 8 yo, or they've slipped some 3 yo or younger in there.
I was told when I took the tour last December that they were not going to be bottling the No. 8 for a while due to dwindling supplies, but they have been bottling it in recent years.
The No. 8 bottle in the last few years may even be a minimum of 6 yo.
So is this the best time ever to buy Dickel, both the No. 8 and the No. 12? Or are they now forced to make No. 12 with barrels they would have passed to the No. 8 in the past?
It just seems that the distillery being closed for four years should provide us with some sort of opportunity.
I could be wrong on this one, but......I thought that both Dickel products were 4 year old whiskey. White being 90 proof and black being 80 proof. Ain't NAS whisky a bitch?
If that's true, then the No. 12 is, for now, at least, an 8 yo whisky, although they'll have some 4 yo any day now.
I thought during a recent tour they told us that #12 was a mingling of 8-12 yo whiskey. Or maybe 8-10. I remember being impressed by the age range that was stated.
I bought a pint of the current #12 recently, to compare it to the 70's one I had brought to Sampler. I thought the 70's one was better by a fair margin, but I also thought that the #12 was very creditable with not as much of the "vitamins"-like taste that put me off some years ago. I would buy the #12 again and I find it, frankly, much better than a lot of bourbon selling for far more.
I agree, the current #12 is a very pleasant whiskey at a very reasonable price. And thanks for bringing down that 70's bottle, it was quite good and a fun comparison.
On a similar note, I put a couple 70's vintage Beam white label miniatures on the Gazebo table. I find the current offering to be a cruel joke, but the vintage samples are perfectly drinkable. I hope someone actually tasted them...
I have no reason not to believe what the folks at the distillery say, but just remember that there is no age statement on the label, so the whiskey in the bottle is whatever it needs to be to match the taste profile. Yes, there is a gap in their inventory, during which no whiskey was made, which may for any given bottling batch pose some challenges in terms of matching the profile, which is why they cranked the place up when they did. Beyond that, no one should worry too much about the "math."
That said, I think it's fair to assume that no whiskey made since the reopening has been bottled yet.
Just as an historical side note back in the 70s there was an age statement of five years on the label on the back of the No.12 bottle. Also on Jack Daniels black for that matter.
With the recent acknowledgement of 3yo Dickel Cascade Hollow whiskey by Diageo/George Dickel, and the reduction in production of #8 black-label, I've been thinking it odd that I haven't yet seen it around here. Then, Joel (TNsquire) stopped by the liquor store tonight during my shift to deliver some 'goods', and we happened to be conversing while standing next to the Dickel facings. Joel looks down and asks, "Have they changed the #8's label?", and we both bent over to study the seemingly-new red markings, which read: "Cascade Hollow".
A few moments of silence followed, on my part because I knew that was the display of Dickel #8, and we'd never ordered (or heard of, till last week) any "Cascade Hollow". Quickly digging, I also found some #8 black-label at the back of the row. Going to the database, I discovered we'd last ordered that size in September -- so we've unknowingly had "Cascade Hollow" on the shelf for almost three months. How could THAT happen, you ask?
See for yourself:
You'll notice, I'm sure, the close resemblance between the labels, with only the red lettering, letter shading/color, and the 3yo vertical age statement (left) -- as the only differences. Seems there's at least one Dickel distributor in Tennessee who is selling "Cascade Hollow" as George Dickel #8. I'm willing to bet he doesn't even know it (or, at least, the salesmen don't). It's priced the same as the #8, too -- which brings to mind the question of where the #8 will be priced when it resumes its place in the market.
Anyway, while Dickel #8 is still out there, check those bottles carefully before taking them to the counter. Either Diageo/Dickel or one Tennessee liquor distributor is shading some truth here.
Tim, this is most interesting, thanks. The color of the new one looks lighter (even allowing for how display screens show these and the way the pictures were shot).
Since this whiskey undergoes a form of pre-aging, i.e., the charcoal leaching process, giving it three years in the barrel may be enough to impart good maturity.
It would be interesting to have taste notes comparing the two, but I'd wager the new one is pretty good and (for the historically minded) it might resemble the bulk of late 1800's Tennessee aged whiskey.
Damn, Tim, you made me pull the bottle of Dickel I purchased the other day, turns out it's a Cascade Hollow as well! Hadn't even noticed! Now I need to find a recent #8 to do a side by side. Gonna have to dig in the shelves and see if a #8 turns up behind the Cascade somewhere. It seems the distributor here has done the same thing as the one there.
In the AP story (http://www.wsmv.com/news/14867441/detail.html) that came out Monday, you'll notice that no one at the company says how old either product is and they don't bear age statements, but anything younger than four years old is required to carry an age statement. Rather than convert the No. 8 into a thirty-six month whiskey, and try to hide the age statement, they have come out with this Cascade Hollow Recipe, with a label almost identical to the No. 8, and put the age statement prominent on the front.
As I said elsewhere, what seems odd to me is that they feel the No. 8 brand is something they don't want to damage, but they clearly intend the new Cascade Hollow to confuse customers who are just shopping for the black label. Which is it? Since none of the existing Dickel products carry an age statement, they're under no legal obligation not to change the age of the whiskey in the bottle.
I guess they are trying to have it both ways. They're upfront with the people who are paying attention while simultaneously trying to slip one past the people who aren't.
Are they also hoping to keep the Cascade Hollow product on the shelves after the real No. 8 returns? If people buy the Cascade Hollow at No. 8's old price point and No. 8 comes back at a higher price point? Time will tell.
Tim, I find it odd that something that wasn't ordered would just show up on the shelves. I looked up the #8 UPC online, and it doesn't match the UPC on the new bottling. Is it common for a distributor to show up with something you didn't order and just place it on the shelf?
I don't know about Tim's store, but at Spec's it's the distributor's responsibility to keep the shelves stocked and inventory replentished for many high volume items. Small volume/boutique wines and spirits are handled by Spec's personnel. Republic has several reps at Spec's full time stocking shelves, ordering shipments, answering questions, etc.
But my guess is that the distributor made a mistake and shipped him the Cascade Hollow in error to Tim's liquor store.
At Specs, this would be even harder, as it would have to be put into the computer. Tim's store, IIRC, uses actual price tags.
...Is it common for a distributor to show up with something you didn't order and just place it on the shelf?
As I originally noted, my guess is the salesman, for sure, didn't know a change in stock had occurred, and perhaps even the distribution management doesn't. In Tennessee, liquor distributors are in the business to make money, not worry over record-keeping details.:rolleyes:
I've noted many times here how 'big' a player the TN liquor lobby is in state politics. Basically, the distributors can do just about anything they can get away with. So, while any new product must be registered with the state before it's sold, if Diageo/Dickel shipped the distributor "Cascade Hollow" instead of "#8", and nobody noticed, I suspect they'd not be treated like Jack Daniel's collectors.
...my guess is that the distributor made a mistake and shipped him the Cascade Hollow in error to Tim's liquor store.
No they didn't. Either they shipped it because it's what they had and they didn't know any better, or they shipped it and hoped we wouldn't notice. In either case, they didn't inform us that a change had occurred.
People around here are slightly freakin out about the a lack of No. #8. Their is a big following of No.8 and No.12 taste different than No.8. does anyone know when the No.8 will go back on stream??
Official word is "early in 2008." Go here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2007/12/whats-really-going-on-with-george.html) for more information.
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