<HTML><FONT SIZE=3>George Dickel No. 8
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<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
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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.

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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
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