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  1. #1
    Administrator in exile
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    George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    I happened upon a bottle of this at a local liquor store and picked it up, with the intent of trading with someone who can appreciate it. I paid about $25 for it. Though the seal was intact, I found the cork to be leaking slightly when the bottle fell on its side in the car. Well, nothing to do now but open it up. I will say that my initial impressions of this expression are quite different than my feelings for good ol' #12. I find the 10yo slightly sweeter with lots of fruit, pears mostly, in the nose and a vanilla "woodiness" on the palate. It has a very, very smooth finish. I have to say that I actually enjoy the flavor of this whiskey, and I may never have experienced it if not for that leaky cork.

    Now, for those of you more in the know on Tennessee Whiskey, what is the story on this bottling? I know it was part of the UD Bourbon Heritage series and has since been discontinued, and that it is obviously 10yo, but is there anything special or different about its production or stock? Will I ever see another bottle of it? Do any of you prefer this to regular Dickel?

    I'm so confused

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    I'll let others elucidate the history but I echo Jeff's thoughts on the quality and taste. This whiskey is much superior to the regular Dickel offerings, and quite special.

    There is something in the current Elijah Craig 12 year old which is similar - not exactly, of course (e.g., the Craig lacks the fruity notes of the Dickel) but there is a certain similarity in the rich brandy-like finish and firm, well-knitted flavor,

    Gary

  3. #3
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    Hi folks - first post here, but let me first say thanks to our hosts and to everyone here for the wealth of information! Cheers to you all...

    I was lucky enough to liberate a pair of dusty bottles of Dickel Special Barrel Reserve on Tuesday and yes, it's a really nice whiskey. I don't like modern Dickel much (I remember liking it 15 or more years ago), but the Special Barrel Reserve, along with the rest of the Heritage Collection, is quite nice whiskey. I'm getting into the lighter, more fruity, buttery and 'bright' whiskeys lately and this find made me very happy.

    I can't add anything authoritative to the history of this whiskey, and I've only seen it once, but I do have a question about other members of the Heritage collection, especially Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve. I've seen three different packagings of this whiskey, one with a tall smooth bottle and a 'Louisville' distillery label, one with the modern, shorter and notched near the neck bottle with the 'Louisville' label and finally, the modern notched bottle with the 'Frankfort' distillery label.

    The taller smooth bottle came with a tag outlining the Heritage collection, which was copyright 1998 by UDV, so I assume that this was bottled sometime around then, requiring the 13 year old whiskey to be from old Stitzel Weller stock. Is this a good assumption? And what of the more modern bottle shape with the Louisville and Frankfort labels - is the Louisville stuff old S-W stock and the Frankfort stuff more modern?

    I'm really curious, as the two versions seem to behave slightly differently - they change in your glass differently and taste a tad bit different. The Louisville stuff seems to have more of a buttery menthol taste and less leather later on. Anyone else done a side by side? Note, my sample size is only one bottle each, so I may be full of BS, but I'd be curious to know the history and see if there really is any difference...


    Thanks in advance!

  4. #4
    Novice
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    Hello,
    Any other bottles left in Malden? Waiting for GD Barrel Select Which comes out this July but would love a bottle of Special Reserve. Thanks

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by orange dickel
    ...Waiting for GD Barrel Select Which comes out this July...
    Actually, it's been out for a year or more, but apparently not distributed beyond Tennessee.
    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...ead.php?t=5251
    Tim

  6. #6
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    What a treat the Barrel Select was. I now regret sharing it with 2 other friends (J/K)! Well since we were in the city of brotherly love when I busted it out, I thought it un-American to hog.

    As for my impressions, I like the #12 quite a bit, but as forementioned, the BS was sweeter and gave a great tingle on the lips and in your mouth. I wish there was a better way to get my hands on a bottle in the chicago area besides an eBay purchase! I want one on hand at my place at all times!

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
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    Quote Originally Posted by asnigro
    As for my impressions, I like the #12 quite a bit
    I haven't had the good fortune to try the Barrel Select, but #12 is superb in its own right. What a shame that GD lives under the shadow of JD!
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    Unfortunately, I know very little about its history after the "Bourbon heritage collection". I seem to recall that I´ve read somewhere that the post-BHC version has a light-brown label and that it claims to be distilled "in or before" some year (I don´t remember which). Is this how your bottling looks like, Jeff?

    I acquired my bottle (a BHC) in November last year, at a German whisky shop where it apparently had been collecting dust for a long time (it was the last one they had). Overall, my impression of it corresponds to Jeff´s. The Dickel character is clearly in attendance but it competes with a hefty fruit presence.

    Is it better than good ol´ No. 12? Not sure, but it is, at least more exciting.

  9. #9
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    Actually, My bottle is one of the BHC bottles. I guess what I'm looking for is any information as to why this bottling is so much different and better, IMHO, than the standard GD#12? How large a batch was this expression? Is it just a dumping of any/all of their 10yo whiskey, or were the barrels specially picked for this label? How many years was it produced?

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    It´s in cases like these that the distillery´s homepage should offer helpful information. As far as I can detect there´s is not a single mention of the barrel reserve, though. Is your bottle also a BHC, Gary?

    Did this whiskey make its grand entrance with the BHC bottling or was it in existence before? It would be interesting to know. All I know for sure is that there must be at least two different bottlings since there´s no mention of "Distilled in or before" on the label of my bottle.

 

 

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