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Dickel Cascade Hollow v. No. 8


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Been thinking to get around to comparing these couple of 375ml bottles I've had awhile, and finally poured them side-by-side tonight. Diageo/Dickel has done a good job, aesthetically, of imitating the No. 8 with the 3yo Cascade Hollow -- they are virtually identical in color. (By the way, this is a former 'imported' No. 8, from when it was bottled in Canada. I think it's bottled domestically again, so this is likely much older, from before the 4-year distilling hiatus.)

From the nose, however, they become distinct. I wonder if Dickel's still was re-coppered before startup, because the CH is very pungently aromatic, and the obvious aroma is akin to Woodford Reserve Four Grain. The No. 8 nose is lightly wooded, displaying nothing of that high note CH is playing.

The Cascade Hollow is very hot on the tongue, spirity for an 80-proofer. It displays the coppery-penny doughiness of the Four Grain, too. Odd, I never expected that, and don't know how to relate them except by the above speculation. The No. 8's palate is much mellower. Still, there's not a lot of 'there' there -- it's a subtle taste profile, showing some traces of oak at the finish, hints of rye, but a buttery mouthfeel that shows some grace.

These are different animals. If Dickel drinkers don't/haven't detect(ed) and comment(ed) on the differences, they're not a very discriminating lot, or they use a lot of Coke! Compared to the (deservedly) much-maligned WR Four Grain, the Cascade Hollow is a great value for some of the same flavors. Compared to the old Dickel No. 8, however -- well, Hollow is an appropriate naming word for it.

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