So, I went home (Tennessee) for a couple of days and I convinced my parents to go on the Dickel and Jack tours with me. We had a lot of fun on the tours and the scenery was amazing.
Now, I'll have to say, I find the JD/GD comparison to be kinda pointless but I thought I would share some of the info that I managed to write down or remember. Keep in mind that this is coming from our tour guides and from my memory of the day so the accuracy could be a little off in some cases.
Dickel: Mash Bill: 86 corn, 7 rye, 7 barley. Yeast is a commercially available version made in Maryland. 80 Barrels per day. All controls are done by hand. 33 employees. Average age of whisky: 8 for No. 8, 8-10 for No. 12, 12-13 for Barrel Select and 13-14 for the Barrel Select #1 ($65 per bottle in gift shop). Gift shop: Country style building with bottles, etc. and a nice lady behind the counter.
Jack: Mash bill: 80 corn, 8 rye, 12 barley. Yeast? Couldn't hear the tour guide. 900-1500 barrels per day (dang!!!). Computer controlled with a room that looked like NASA! 400+ employees. Average age of whiskey: 4-6 years. Gift shop: Located in town square. Huge. Absolutely everything you could ever imagine...and then some.
Other things to note:
-Yes, the rumors(and postings) are true. Dickel No. 8 won't be available for a while. Some of you may have seen some of the shelf tags at your local store and they had postcard sized things explaining the situation as well. The tour guide said it was due to the closing of the distillery and the subsequent increase in demand.
-Both of the distilleries are in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee but the Dickel site is in such a beautiful and isolated spot. If you're on your way from Chattanooga to Nashville then it's well worth a visit.