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Possible George Dickel Rye?


cazolman
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Probably the most interesting thing John Lunn told me about Dickel is that they don't have computer process controls like everybody else now does. It's essentially still run using the technology that was current when it was built in 1958. There is a worker who controls the boiler using manual controls and analog gauges, same with the still.

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Dickel products are bottled in Plainfield. There is no bottling in Tullahoma at the distillery.
Probably the most interesting thing John Lunn told me about Dickel is that they don't have computer process controls like everybody else now does. It's essentially still run using the technology that was current when it was built in 1958. There is a worker who controls the boiler using manual controls and analog gauges, same with the still.

This is pretty intriguing: If all of Dickel's whisky is produced in IN, then the only thing that Dickel does in TN is produce the charcoal to be shipped to the Plainfield, IL bottling site.

Edited by Shell
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This is pretty intriguing: If all of Dickel's whisky is produced in IN, then the only thing that Dickel does in TN is produce the charcoal to be shipped to the Plainfield, IL bottling site.
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The Dickel Rye is distilled and aged in Indiana. Then send to Plainfield for bottling and now charcoal filtering. They distill and age the Tennessee whiskey in Tennessee and ship it to Plainfield for bottling.
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Probably the most interesting thing John Lunn told me about Dickel is that they don't have computer process controls like everybody else now does. It's essentially still run using the technology that was current when it was built in 1958. There is a worker who controls the boiler using manual controls and analog gauges, same with the still.
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They had computerized controls on the fermenters and perhaps the cookers but not the still. Eddie showed me where the guy's chair was and the valve he operated. He went mostly on vibration (feel) and sound. So, yes, they had a full-time still operator who ran the still manually.

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  • 2 months later...
They had computerized controls on the fermenters and perhaps the cookers but not the still. Eddie showed me where the guy's chair was and the valve he operated. He went mostly on vibration (feel) and sound. So, yes, they had a full-time still operator who ran the still manually.

So, wait...the new WT plant is automated/computerized all the way through? I wonder how many changes they made...sigh.

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I haven't been through WT yet but as I understand it, the plant is fully modern, no more or less modern than most others. Mostly what is automated are process controls. The main thing at WT that didn't have them before was the beer still itself. At this point, I know of only one major distillery that doesn't have computerized process controls on most of the equipment. Buffalo Trace even has theirs web enabled so Harlen can monitor everything when he's traveling. If you're looking for a major distillery without them, that ship has just about sailed. The sole exception: George Dickel. They have no computers in the distillery, according to Master Distiller John Lunn. He told me "everything is sight and sound, touch and feel, the old-fashioned way."

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I haven't been through WT yet but as I understand it, the plant is fully modern, no more or less modern than most others. Mostly what is automated are process controls. The main thing at WT that didn't have them before was the beer still itself. At this point, I know of only one major distillery that doesn't have computerized process controls on most of the equipment. Buffalo Trace even has theirs web enabled so Harlen can monitor everything when he's traveling. If you're looking for a major distillery without them, that ship has just about sailed. The sole exception: George Dickel. They have no computers in the distillery, according to Master Distiller John Lunn. He told me "everything is sight and sound, touch and feel, the old-fashioned way."

Chuck

I was under the impresion that most of the master distillers could monitor the distillery from the road?

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Perhaps they can. I just happen to have talked to Harlen about it. And I have trouble imagining Jimmy Russell monitoring data points on an iPad at the airport in Singapore. He has people to do that.

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I know it is common in modern brewing. I have read that the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY has its operations monitored online from the head office in Munich. Maybe that is why the beer is so good.

Gary

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I know it is common in modern brewing. I have read that the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY has its operations monitored online from the head office in Munich. Maybe that is why the beer is so good.

Gary

I do quite a bit of doing my own monitoring of the beer at Hofbrauhaus in person. ?

Mike

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Excellent, and wish I could join you on one of those sessions! I had a visit planned for April but finally we decided to fly into Louisville (vs. Cincinnati) so we won't get up there.

However, the Louisville beer scene is not without interest and this time I want to get out to Albanian.

Gary

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The ultimate thread drift...and something I forgot to mention to you earlier Gary...a brand new Hofbrauhaus is opening 1/22/13 (already delayed from November) just a few miles from my house and O'Hare airport in Rosemont Il. This will be their fourth in the states and there is some franchise agreement with an entity known as the Windy City Group for this new one.

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The ultimate thread drift...and something I forgot to mention to you earlier Gary...a brand new Hofbrauhaus is opening 1/22/13 (already delayed from November) just a few miles from my house and O'Hare airport in Rosemont Il. This will be their fourth in the states and there is some franchise agreement with an entity known as the Windy City Group for this new one.

We (me included) have drifted a bit off the subject at hand we need to get back to it. If we wish to continue this conversation lets start a new thread.

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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:

Really? Wow!

Taste is the only thing that really matters to me. I don't care if Coca Cola made it...

I like this new rye.

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I think what Lazer means is that we've already had plenty of iterations of the MGPI rye, albeit this one is charcoal filtered between barrel and bottle, which is new. I too would love to see how John Lunn would make a rye from scratch in Tullahoma.

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I think what Lazer means is that we've already had plenty of iterations of the MGPI rye, albeit this one is charcoal filtered between barrel and bottle, which is new. I too would love to see how John Lunn would make a rye from scratch in Tullahoma.

Thanks. And I wondered if he meant it in a humorous or wry way. I am interested in the heritage of my beverages and I do give extra points for truly unique ones. But from my one sample of the Dickel Rye it is clear that it is very different from anything else I have tasted. The more I taste different bourbons and ryes the more aware I am that it is the barrel aging and other important processes (like the charcoal filtering) that really affect the eventual taste of the spirit. For the price the Dickel is a clear winner for me.

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Excellent, and wish I could join you on one of those sessions! I had a visit planned for April but finally we decided to fly into Louisville (vs. Cincinnati) so we won't get up there.

However, the Louisville beer scene is not without interest and this time I want to get out to Albanian.

Gary

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Then I shall, thank you!

(Oops apologies Paul if this was the too-wayward thread!. No more but I didn't want to be rude to ole Chuck). :)

Gary

Edited by Gillman
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I toured WT last spring and by the looks of things it is all automated. I saw on ADI forums a conversation about continuous stills and if they were "craft" enough. One guy argued no, because he said they all had to be automated. Somebody, I cannot imagine who, had to chime in and tell about the guy running the still in the old WT plant. I do not think they beleived it. Hell, I should know, we are putting one in that the only thing on it that is even electrical is a flow meter for beer feed.

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