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Possible George Dickel Rye?


cazolman
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If the cola is right and this is Lawrenceburg juice, then this is a huge disaster. GD no.12 is a fantastic whiskey and bulleit rye is not, in my opinion. This is such a let down. what a sad day for rye fans. :smiley_acbt:

On the upside, maybe this will bring more a attention to the GD brand and increase the availability of no. 12, that is, until they water it down or age it less or something.

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I got a sample yesterday and it tastes very different from, say, Bulleit Rye. The shock is that you expect filtering like that, especially after aging, to strip away flavor and simply give it a milder taste. Instead it really changes the flavor. Not sure if I can say I like it yet, but it's very flavorful and tastes nothing like anybody else's LDI rye. The main flavor I get, believe it or not, is grapefruit.

The word 'finish' implies something done to the aged spirit, but the term is not defined at law and so they might be using it loosely.

That is, however, the most likely scenario, as I doubt this was a from-scratch proposition. I imagine that they took some LDI rye, aged at LDI for (they say) at least five years, then chilled and charcoaled it in Tullahoma to make it Dickel. The unusual taste may be because of the filtering or it could be the barrel selection. My suspicion is that Diegeo owns a pipeline's worth of LDI whiskey that it bought for blending but is now using for some straights. That whiskey wouldn't show up in LDI's spreadsheets since it is already owned by Diageo.

Whatever success they have had with Bulleit Rye, it's fair to assume they will have the same success with Dickel, since most of the trial will be brand customers who want to try a rye.

The suggested price point, by the way, is a very reasonable $24.99.

Edited by cowdery
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Well, so far it looks like Josh and Thad called this one, and kudos for that. Assuming, therefore, it was cold-filtered in the maple charcoal vats after 5 years aging (as opposed to being filtered as white dog, or whiskey not long in barrel - it would still be "rye whiskey" in that form) - I am surprised at this post-aging filtration. I know Gentleman Jack undergoes that process, but that surprised me too when I first learned of it. Yes, fully aged bourbon often is filtered in activated charcoal but I am puzzled why after a full four or five years of aging in new charred barrels, a Lincoln County or that type process would be deemed an improvement. This process is quite different to a short treatment in activated charcoal.

I find Gentleman the least interesting of all the Jack Daniel brands. It has a perfumy character I find off-putting. I cannot recall in historical sources that the maple charcoal process - once again the prolonged process as opposed to a quick charcoal polishing - was done after full barrel aging. It was done certainly before barrel aging, partially to accelerate the aging process. But that was done to white dog, not aged spirit. Now, maybe it was occasionally applied to fully aged barrel spirit but I cannot recall ever reading of an instance of this.

One often lauds the craft distillers for not being bound to tradition, but B-F was ahead of them in this respect in my opinion.

As always, palate is what counts, so I look forward to trying it.

The particular secondary constituents in LDI rye offer what to me is a "Blue Tide" effect: clean, breezy, almost salt sea or cleanser-like. That would have responded well in white dog form to the maple stack, IMO again. But I guess it wasn't done this way.

Edited by Gillman
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The sample on his desk in the video I linked was white. I take that as being either they bought the white rye in, mellowed and aged and bottled it, or they tried to make rye and could not do it as they were simply not able to figure it out. Maybe the equipment was not setup for it and it did not make what they thought was good rye. Rye is not hard to make, but you have to figure it out. That stuff will drive you nuts. Hell, maybe it foamed over and they said forget this. I had a fermenter foam over one time and it was on a downhill slope towards a floor drain the rye came over never touched the drain, went uphill and went into another room. It is not for the light hearted.

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HighInTheMtns
Yes, fully aged bourbon often is filtered in activated charcoal but I am puzzled why after a full four or five years of aging in new charred barrels, a Lincoln County or that type process would be deemed an improvement. This process is quite different to a short treatment in activated charcoal.
Edited by HighInTheMtns
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Well, it is true that Dickel's LCP is not quite the same as Brown-Forman's. But the differences have never really been identified here IIRC. I just recall that Diageo ensures the whiskey is dripped through a chilled vat, but as to how prolonged, and in relation to Jack Daniel's process, I don't really know, hence my statement that a "type" of LCP would seem atypical at least viewed historically.

Activated charcoal is neutral and "clean" is my understanding, whereas I would think burned maple wood would indeed add something to the spirit. It takes away oils and other secondary constituents of distillation by trapping them in small apertures. But after 4-5 years of new charred barrel aging, how much of those are left? So perhaps indeed it "gives" more than it takes when practiced at the end of the aging cycle. Yet Chuck has reported a grapefruit-like palate, which seems at odds with a maple sweetness... I don't know, and it's hard to comment further without tasting the stuff.

Gary

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Correct me if I'm wrong; but GD's Lincoln County Process is significantly different from Jack Daniel's Lincoln County Process; perhaps the result on an aged whiskey is better with the GD process? I certainly agree with you about Gentleman Jack being (by far, IMO) the least interesting Jack.

Gary

The difference is in the size and shape of the vats and the amount of charcoal used.

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Correct me if I'm wrong; but GD's Lincoln County Process is significantly different from Jack Daniel's Lincoln County Process; perhaps the result on an aged whiskey is better with the GD process? I certainly agree with you about Gentleman Jack being (by far, IMO) the least interesting Jack.

More realistically, I have to speculate that Diageo didn't plan 5 years in advance for the GD Rye, and they wish to offer a decently-aged whiskey that has some noticeable "Dickel" characteristics. The LCP clearly both adds and removes flavors from whiskey; performing the LCP after dumping the barrels, particularly in the Dickel "fill the vat" manner, will certainly add some maple/Tennessee/Dickel character to the whiskey before it goes into the bottles. To me, the question is, is what was added more valuable than what was taken out?

Well, it is true that Dickel's LCP is not quite the same as Brown-Forman's. But the differences have never really been identified here IIRC. I just recall that Diageo ensures the whiskey is dripped through a chilled vat, but as to how prolonged, and in relation to Jack Daniel's process, I don't really know, hence my statement that a "type" of LCP would seem atypical at least viewed historically.

Gary

The difference is in the size and shape of the vats and the amount of charcoal used. Looking for the details.

UPDATE: According to this thread: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?14601-Things-tour-guides-say-George-Dickel

JD mellows in 10 ft of charcoal, Dickel in 21 ft. I'm not sure what that means exactly. Is that square feet? Is the the width or height of the vats? According another online source, JD has the spirit drip through the vat but at Dickel the vat is filled with spirit then emptied.

Edited by Josh
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In the historical files at the U D Archive there was a file on pre-prohibition Dickel. It mentions that the maple charcoal changed the Ph of the whiskey taking it toward the more basic side of the scale, making the whiskey less acidic and more neutral. I suspect it does the same with aged whiskey. Dickel also chills the charcoal vats - I am not sure of the exact temperature, but I believe it is 65 degrees, so it will remove some of the vegetable oils from the whiskey as well, but to the extent as a chill filtration system that lowers the temperature to about 0 degrees. Kyle did not say how old the whiskey was but I thought maybe 5 or 6 years old from the taste I had that evening.

Mike Veach

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T

JD mellows in 10 ft of charcoal, Dickel in 21 ft. I'm not sure what that means exactly. Is that square feet? Is the the width or height of the vats? According another online source, JD has the spirit drip through the vat...

As far as the JD, I'm pretty sure the 10' is the height of the vat

(they are maybe 6 - 8' across?) Also, I believe JD does use the

"drip method".

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Mike, are you aware that any kind of maple charcoal immersion or leaching was practiced post-barrel aging before these two current examples (Gentleman Jack and the new Dickel Rye) let alone in the 1800's?

Again, I am open to the taste results, but just in terms of what went before, I can't recall this. I suppose you could view it as adding aging time at the end, just as it is said to at the beginning, but I am not sure it has the same effect in both instances. For example, what is the typical acid content of full aged whiskey...?

Gary

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Filtration through charcoal or bone dust was a common practice among rectifiers in the late 19th century, in both Canada and the United States.

The filtration vats at Daniel's are ten feet deep and the spirit is at ambient temperature. They're three feet deep at Dickel but the spirit is chilled before filtering, to just above freezing, like the chill filtering performed by most bourbons, although Dickel's method involves a lot more charcoal.

I've sampled the sample a bit more, and am getting more resemblance to other LDI ryes, but muted, which is what I'd expect from something that's filtered. I'm also still getting a major sour citrus note, part grapefruit, part pineapple.

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I have seen many references to filtration by charcoal, bone dust, etc. but this was given to new spirit to rectify it to a more neutral taste. I can't recall ever reading that it was done after a prolonged barrel aging, but maybe it was. (It doesn't really matter, but again just in terms of what went before...).

I continue to be intrigued by Chuck's taste notes, but I guess too every spirit will react differently to the treatment whether before or after normal barrel aging.

Canadian distillers in Toronto, e.g. Gooderham & Worts, used big vats of charcoal in a way essentially similar to LCP, but not after barrel aging in the warehouse - as far as I know again. E.g. in this account by Craig Heron, see pg. 91, he states that the spirit was given charcoal treatment to become common whiskey which would then be put away for warehouse aging or distilled again for a higher grade. I have seen illustrations of those charcoal vats and they were large wooden vats in which the whiskey was immersed clearly for a time, not dissimilar to the modern LCP. This was ground wood charcoal of some kind. I understand the modern activated carbon is made from coconut shells mainly and has no odour or taste. It has a large absorbtion capacity but vodka or bourbon is run through the filters rapidly, I don't think the two processes are really the same...

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=TozhJZ8RlWQC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=gooderham+%26+worts+charcoal+whisky&source=bl&ots=5ramRA6CCD&sig=KyYt8MaGpi7rwVccJTWO9HvKoYM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Rfd-UO-8FK

Gary

Edited by Gillman
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A 19th century rectifier might have filtered whiskey that had some age on it if it hadn't aged very well, to render it more neutral and more suitable for blending. But, yes, it's unlikely that a well-aged whiskey would have been filtered in those days. Just trying to make the point that filtering through charcoal or bone dust has a long history in the industry. It wasn't invented in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

In this case, Diageo felt they had to Dickelize it, so what else could they do? Doing it to new make and then letting it age for five or more years wasn't an option. This way they were able to make something that tastes different from the many other LDI ryes, and a bit milder and smoother, which is also consistent with the Dickel brand. It's a different taste and fair to say it's a funky taste, so it will be interesting to see how people respond to it on taste alone. Whether of not it suits the Dickel brand with be another question.

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Doing it to new make and then letting it age for five or more years wasn't an option. This way they were able to make something that tastes different from the many other LDI ryes, and a bit milder and smoother, which is also consistent with the Dickel brand. It's a different taste and fair to say it's a funky taste, so it will be interesting to see how people respond to it on taste alone. Whether of not it suits the Dickel brand with be another question.

Taste alone is no way to judge a whiskey. It has to have the right resume/pedigree. I would have been much happier to see this whiskey come out of Dickel than LDI. :cool:

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Talked to John Lunn today. I wanted to clarify a couple things before I wrote today's blog post about new Dickel Rye. That whiskey travels a lot. It's distilled, aged, and dumped in Lawrenceburg, Indiana; shipped to Tullahoma, Tennessee, to be charcoal-mellowed; then it's shipped to Plainfield, Illinois, outside of Chicago, to be bottled and distributed.

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Yes. Diageo has invested about $30 million in that facility in recent years. I'm not sure of everything they do there, but it's an immense bottling and distribution facility. I've been trying to wrangle a tour, especially since it's only an hour from my home. I believe they distill GNS there, for Smirnoff and their other vodkas and domestic gins. I think they have a brewery there, to make their flavored malt beverages such as Smirnoff Ice.

Also, I just made a correction to the blog post based on information just received from Diageo. When Lunn said they 'use the same charcoal," I incorrectly assumed they filtered it at the distillery. Instead they send the charcoal to Plainfield, Illinois, where Dickel is bottled. The whiskey goes from Lawrenceburg to Plainfield and the charcoal goes from Tullahoma to Plainfield. Sorry about that.

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Also, I just made a correction to the blog post based on information just received from Diageo. When Lunn said they 'use the same charcoal," I incorrectly assumed they filtered it at the distillery. Instead they send the charcoal to Plainfield, Illinois, where Dickel is bottled. The whiskey goes from Lawrenceburg to Plainfield and the charcoal goes from Tullahoma to Plainfield. Sorry about that.

That does make more sense. I wonder if they use new charcoal or pull some charcoal that has already been filtering Dickell?

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Yes. Diageo has invested about $30 million in that facility in recent years. I'm not sure of everything they do there, but it's an immense bottling and distribution facility....

Also, I just made a correction to the blog post based on information just received from Diageo. When Lunn said they 'use the same charcoal," I incorrectly assumed they filtered it at the distillery. Instead they send the charcoal to Plainfield, Illinois, where Dickel is bottled. The whiskey goes from Lawrenceburg to Plainfield and the charcoal goes from Tullahoma to Plainfield. Sorry about that.

Is this procedure of the whiskey going from Lawrenceburg, IN to Plainfield, IL used only for the George Dickel Rye, or for all of Dickel's Tennessee Whisky?

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