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  1. #1
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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
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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
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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 Iīve 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 donīt 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 Jeffīs. The Dickel character is clearly in attendance but it competes with a hefty fruit presence.

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

  5. #5
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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?

  6. #6
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    Itīs in cases like these that the distilleryīs homepage should offer helpful information. As far as I can detect thereīs 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 thereīs no mention of "Distilled in or before" on the label of my bottle.

  7. #7
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    Re: George Dickel 10yo Special Barrel Reserve

    Hi Hedmans, my bottle is BHC, yes.

    The website actually does refer to the single barrel, in the FAQ the company states that there is no more single barrel available and hasn't been any for a while but they may release more in the future.

    It truly is a very good whiskey (I only know the BHC), it has a certain, "old-fashioned" taste which some bourbons have too, e.g., as I have said Elijah Craig 12 year old but in the end it is quite unique. Still though, it has that "vitamins" flavour and for those who don't like that in the regular Dickel bottling they should stay away from the 10 year old single barrel because it isn't absent from that version. However it has malty depth and a fruit-like taste which add to and complement that flavor and the result is very pleasant.

    Gary

    P.S. For those on or with access to Florida's southern east coast, Albertson's (a chain of pharmacy and liquor stores) has had the BHC in stock, I saw a number of bottles at the store which is near Pembroke Pines.

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

    The website actually does refer to the single barrel, in the FAQ the company states that there is no more single barrel available and hasn't been any for a while but they may release more in the future.

    There you go, I didnīt even notice that they had a FAQ . The moral is : never attempt things like this while at work.

    Anyway, what is the deal with the Bourbon Heritage Collection? Seeing as the brands no longer are owned by the same company. VSOF, Proprietorīs and the Centennial still seems to be readily available. Old charter and the Dickel, on the other hand seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth (well, almost). Shouldnīt the name be, sort of, trademarked by United Distillers?

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

    The Bourbon Heritage Collection (BHC) was created by UDV in 1991, in imitation of their successful Classic Malts Collection (Glenkinchie, Oban, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Lagavulin). It consisted of five expressions of UDV's American whiskies. The expressions were created expressly for the collection. They were: <ul type="square">[*]George Dicket Special Barrel Reserve (10 yr./86 proof)[*]Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve (13 yr./90 proof)[*]I. W. Harper Gold Medal (15 yr./80 proof)[*]W.L. Weller Centennial (10 yr./100 proof)[*]Very Special Old Fitzgerald (12 yr./90 proof)[/list]Chris Morris and Mike Veach were employed at UDV at the time and were very involved in creating and promoting the BHC.

    Not coincidentally, the release of the BHC followed the release by the Jim Beam Brands Co. of the Small Batch Bourbons Collection (Booker's, Baker's, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek).

    The boxed set of minis (below) was very simliar to one issued for the Classic Malts Collection when it was launched in 1988.

    After UDV/Guinness merged with Grand Met to form Diageo, the company lost interest in American Whiskey and, eventually, the family was broken up. Diageo retained Dickel and Harper, Buffalo Trace got Charter and Weller, and Heaven Hill got Fitzgerald. Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill continue to make their BHC expressions but Diageo, to the best of my knowledge, does not.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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

    Thanks for that picture! None of my BHC:s look like that - they all have the BHC-label on the bottleneck.

    Were all these bottlings made exclusively for the BHC-collection or were they in existence before? I may be horribly wrong here but I think that "The six classic malts" (or at least some of them) were new introductions to the market. Iīm pretty sure that the original Talisker, for instance, was an 8yo. Also, if I remember right Lagavulin was a 12yo (thank goodness we now have a 12yo again. The 16yo is indeed very good but slightly too old for its own good).

    The forum is szzzloooow today. Of course, all you Americans are still out jogging so you havenīt noticed.

 

 

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