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  1. #1
    Taster
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    72

    George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    <HTML><FONT SIZE=3>George Dickel No. 8
    </font>
    <font size=2>Proof:
    80
    Price: $13 for 750ml @ Chuck’s Wine and Spirits, Bowling Green, KY
    Age: 8 yrs.
    Distiller: Cascade Hollow Distillery, George A. Dickel &amp; Co., Tullahoma, TN Master Distiller: Dave Backus
    Bottle: Long, skinny fluted neck, round base. &quot;George Dickel&quot; and &quot;Tennessee&quot; are in raised glass. Black label. The design is very &quot;old-timey&quot; and busy. This one is called &quot;Old No. 8 Brand&quot; Bottled in Canada.
    Color: dark gold amber
    Nose: Browned salted butter dominates, sour-mash smell is also very evident along with toasted almonds. Some faint candy-apple sweetness and a tad bit of mincemeat.
    Taste: Regrettably less complex on the tastebuds. Mainly the flavors of burned butter and roasted nuts come through with a bit of barrel char.
    Finish: Medium-short. There is a bit of bitterness in the finish but aside from that no new flavors present themselves.
    Mouthfeel: Very smooth but also pretty thin
    Style: Light whisky
    Conclusions: Old No. 8 shows a lot of promise on the nose only to let you down on the tastebuds. Basically it’s just too thin. The club for the Dickel faithful is called the Water Conservation Society, espousing that Dickel is so smooth you don’t need to add water. If you ask me, Dickel should practice a little more of what they preach when they bottle No. 8.
    C’mon, spend that extra buck on No. 12, you’ll be glad you did.


    <FONT SIZE=3>George Dickel No. 12
    </font><FONT SIZE=2>
    Proof:
    90
    Price: $14 for 750ml @ Chuck’s Wine and Spirits, Bowling Green, KY
    Age: 12 yrs.
    Distiller: Cascade Hollow Distillery, George A. Dickel &amp; Co., Tullahoma, TN Master Distiller: Dave Backus
    Bottle: Long, skinny fluted neck, round base. &quot;George Dickel&quot; and &quot;Tennessee&quot; are in raised glass. Cream label. The design is very &quot;old-timey&quot; and busy. This one is called &quot;Superior No. 12 Brand&quot;. Bottled in Lawrenceburg, IN
    Color: reddish brown amber
    Nose: Very similar to No. 8 but more balanced. Sour-mash, browned butter, toasted almonds, vanilla, and maple syrup all in harmony along with some barrel char and a touch of allspice and citrus.
    Taste: Browned butter is there but less dominant than No. 8, along with toasted almonds, sour-mash, barrel char, and some brown sugar.
    Finish: Medium. There is a little citrus and a slight amount of white pepper.
    Mouthfeel: Smooth. Dangerously smooth and imminently drinkable. Much fuller and rounder than No. 8
    Style: Table whisky
    Conclusions: The lack of sweetness on the palate that left No. 8 unbalanced shows up nicely in No. 12. For the price, Dickel No. 12 would make an excellent everyday whisky.
    For those of you who strictly stick to bourbon, try No. 12 for a change of pace. It’s no super-rich after-dinner whisky but it is very much a workingman’s table whisky. This one makes me proud to be a Tennessean.

    </font>
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tidbit of history: Unlike Jack Daniel, George Dickel was never a distiller, nor did he ever own the Cascade Distillery that now produces the whisky bearing his name. However, George A. Dickel & Co. of Nashville, TN did bottle and distribute the whisky. His success in marketing and distributing Cascade whisky is what allowed that distillery to survive while so many other TN distilleries faded into obscurity. Dickel's operation in Nashville was based in what is now the Market Street Pub and (micro) Brewery downtown on 2nd Ave. … very tasty brews and some of the best pub grub I've ever had.


    Some contemplation on "Chill-Mellowing": Dickel is pretty proud of their "Chill-Mellowing" process. Basically, they lower the temperature of the whisky to 43F just before it is filtered through sugar maple charcoal. The claim is that the chilling ultimately produces the smoothest, mellowest whisky possible. And I'll give them that….it's sooo smoooooth.

    But after reading Jim Murray's article "From Strength to Strength…" in the 3rd quarter 2001 issue of the Malt Advocate I'm left to wonder, is anything being sacrificed in the process? The premise of that portion of the article is that chill filtration ensures clarity of the spirit at the cost of flavor. So, with that in mind, I've been pondering the possibilities of George Dickel whisky that has forgone the chill-mellowing process. I'm not trying to downgrade their whisky, No. 12 is very good. I just wonder if a rich, after-dinner style whiskey could be produced in the absence of chill-mellowing…..just my $.02
    </FONT>
    </HTML>



  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,900

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    Excellent review, John. Thanks.

    Up until the past five months or so, No. 12 had been my "everyday pour" for about the past ten years. I enjoyed it a lot, but I guess I just got tired of it and launched a personal quest to taste a wide variety of Kentucky bourbons. I'm glad I did.

    I'm not cutting down No. 12, I still think it is a very good whiskey and I am in almost total agreement with your tasting notes.

    The No. 8 hasn't passed my lips in many years. There is just no reason to drink it when you know about the No. 12.

    BTW - Does anyone know *why* Dickel is now bottled in Canada?

    Tim


  3. #3
    Taster
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    72

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    I have no idea. Maybe Kathy Lee Gifford has a whisky bottling sweatshop in Canada.



  4. #4
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    Goood shootin' JR! There have always been several qualities of Dickel #12 that have eluded me.I think you really put your finger on it with the "browned butter". Great catch. Also the early onset of a generic citrus flavor in the finish is spot on.

    Dickel's Cascade Hollow Distillery has been shutdown for several years now. We're just going to have to get in touch with Jimmy Backus and see; a) if he knows what's going on, and b) if he does will he tell us.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    John,

    Even though you haven't posted since 2/2002, your words live on to inspire me.

    I was just rearranging my liqour, and I happened upon my George Dickel No. 12, which suddenly called out to me. I've struggled to label the flavors in this one, perhaps handicapped by Jim Murray's statement that an attempt to do so is like "trying to capture a rainbow".

    As I read your tasting, I nodded in agreement regarding the nose; in addition, I thought of the taste of freshly roasted (not boiled) corn on the cob, cooked just to the point of a slight browning.

    As to the taste, I was still struggling to come up with any description when I read yours. "Almonds", he says? "Why no", I thought, "It's more like walnuts."

    Then I happened to glance back at your words about the nose, and it came to me. Maple-walnut ice cream. I never would have gotten that without your words to stimulate my thought processes. There's also a dryness like freshly tanned leather, and it persists into the finish.

    If you're still out there, thank you!

    BTW, I bought a bottle of No. 8 on the same trip when I bought the No. 12; I still haven't opened the No. 8. After reading your tasting, it may be a while longer yet before I get around to it.

    Yours truly,
    Dae Morefield

  6. #6
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,900

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    I have enjoyed GD #12 for many years. I have been neglecting it since I began delving so deeply into bourbon a couple of years back. Maybe I should go get another bottle.

    I felt a little bit betrayed when I discovered (here on SB.com) that the actual distillery is closed and the existing product is being shipped in from Canada.

    Tim

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plainfield, IN
    Posts
    266

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    I do enjoy Tennessee whiskey...JD Single Barrel in particular, but enjoy Dickel 12 as well. However, I have noticed in the past several? years a different taste in it than previously observed. Maybe its just me...my tastes have changed, etc...but, I am no longer a huge fan. I rarely drink whiskey other than neat or on occasion the rocks, but if I am going to add something to it (usually g'ale)...I use Dickel 12. See ya, H'wood

  8. #8
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    Dave it is most unfortunate that JR is no longer with us on the forum. I remember him well from two bourbon festivals ago. He drove up from Tennessee on a shoestring with his dog and a bottle of Jack Daniels single barrel. John Roberts is a handsome twentysomething bright eyed young man. His lucid comments were always welcome. He was much fun and a very welcome addition to our community. I do know that this latest recession cost him his job and that he has fallen upon hard times. It is a great sadness and I've not heard from him since. John Roberts is greatly missed.

  9. #9
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Bryan, Ohio
    Posts
    1,907

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I do know that this latest recession cost him his job and that he has fallen upon hard times. It is a great sadness and I've not heard from him since.

    [/QUOTE]

    Sounds like a nice guy. I can relate to the recession thing. Seems like it is biting a lot of people in the ass recently. Hopefully it won't hurt us too much or too long. It can really put a damper on the Holiday Season..... but I am staying ChinUP!



    Tom (TheResilient) C

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    540

    Re: George Dickel Shootoff: No. 8 vs. No. 12

    I complete concur that the No. 12 is by far much better than No. 8. It's richness is quite sexy on the palate for a below $20 whisky. However, sometimes I'm just in the mood for a lil' somethin' really on the light side. In those moments, No. 8 hits the spot. I often find that if a bar even carries both No. 8 and No. 12 here in NY, I feel like I'm getting ripped if I order No. 8 cuz they charge the same for both.

    Regarding bottling operations, I ran across this recently:
    Cascade Hollow Distillery Reopens

 

 

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