Six New Dickels For You To Pick(le)
I am very excited to tell you about these six new casks that have just arrived. They are without a doubt the most exciting single barrels of American whiskey we've been able to buy in some time. I don't think I've been this pumped since our first barrel of Four Roses showed up, mainly because these six barrels of Dickel mark the first time we've had something new and different to offer in a very long time.
Just like with Bourbon, corn is the main component for Tennessee whiskey and it's important in particular because of Dickel's 84% corn mashbill that results in a full-bodied, creamy sweetness, setting it apart from its Kentucky brethren. While no one really gets overly-excited about the mellow, mild, reduced flavor of Dickel #8, I can promise you that when that flavor is concentrated into a single barrel and bottled at 103 proof, it's a much more dynamic experience.
The point is: these barrels are freaking delicious!!!
Here is something you need to know before buying these bottles, however:
1) They are wide, squat bottles so if you're shipping these we have to pack them separately into a different box.
2) While the 12 pack box these bottles arrived in clearly dictates which barrel these whiskies came from, the label unfortunately does not. We have therefore stickered each bottle with a barcode and barrel code to make sure you can tell which whiskey is from which cask.
Let me also say that I don't think any one barrel shines over the others. They're all very similar in profile with only subtle differences. The first description is only longer because I'm cutting out the intro on the other five (it's not because I like it more!).
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 03L29 G78-2-26 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Production methods really haven't changed at George Dickel distillery since 1959, nor have the practices -- they've been making old-fashioned Tennessee whiskey from corn the only way they know how. That's why when Dickel announced they would begin doing a single barrel program with retailers we were amazed (and excited). Just like with Bourbon, corn is the main component for Tennessee whiskey and is important in particular because of Dickel's 84% corn mashbill that results in a full-bodied, creamy sweetness that sets it apart from its Kentucky brethren. It also passes very slowly though charcoal after distillation, allowing it to pull out all the impurities they don't want in the whiskey, resulting in a soft, mellow, and smooth spirit. But now imagine all that sweet corn richness from a single barrel at 103 proof! Barrel G 78-2-26 has an instant hit of big bold vanilla spice and rich barrel char before mellowing out into a creamy candy corn palate, accented by more baking spices. The higher proof really brings new life to the richness, bringing a boldness reminiscent to the Pappy Van Winkle Bourbons, which also combine that potency of sweet with heat. There isn't enough whiskey like this to satisfy the pent up demand. I'd buy 100 barrels of this if we could.
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 04F29 L56-5-5 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Barrel L 56-5-5 is more like a Bourbon than any of the other five casks we found mainly because it starts off with that pencil shaving aroma and wood-driven character before the sweetness hits. The mid-palate turns more herbaceous, but the higher proof and the sweetness from the corn prevent it from overtaking the experience and throwing the entire profile out of balance. The finish is a flutter of barrel char and caramel. Lovely stuff.
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 04F29 L56-6-20 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Barrel L 56-6-20 brings more spice and barrel richness than sweet corn, however, and explodes into a barrage of mint, anise, cinnamon, and herbaceous goodness -- all without sacrificing the inherent creaminess. This is the exact profile that Bourbon fans are lamenting the loss of these days -- that bold spice that's equally matched by barrel richness. The finish is all burnt vanilla and creme brulee. YUM!!!!
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 04L28 N54-3-6 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Barrel 04L28 N54-3-6 has lots of graham cracker goodness with plenty of spicy barrel char action. There's a burst of sweet vanilla on the mid-palate and more toasted oak on the finish. It's a tad less sweet than the other five and even a bit of an amaro note on the back end. This should be a big hit for Manhattan drinkers.
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 04L430 N55-3-2 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Barrel 04L430 N55-3-2 has a concentrated core of charred oak, caramel corn, and big spice. The palate explodes and the high proof balances out the richness perfectly. It's a match made in heaven.
George Dickel K&L Exclusive 9 Year Old Single Barrel 3L29 G78-5-8 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 -- Barrel 3L29 G78-5-8 has lots of wood tannin and dark oak goodness, but a bit of burnt sugar and creme brulee on the backend. This is most nuanced of the bunch, but that's not saying much. It still explodes at 51.5% ABV and still brings the sweet corny goodness, albeit in a more subdued manner.