Dickel Me, Dickel Me, Dickel Me Too!
I was a big Shel Silverstein fan growing up. I had the poetry books and the cassette tapes where he played guitar and sang songs, too. "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me, Too" was one of my all-time favorites and to this day I can't even look at a bottle of Dickel without thinking of Where the Sidewalk Ends. In any case, I've got three new can't-miss casks of K&L Exclusive Dickel to tell you about right now and they are without a doubt the best single barrels of American whiskey we've had in stock this year. For the price, they are simply unbeatable; each with a 9 year old age statement, a high 103 proof, and a uniquely wonderful flavor profile.
When I talk to passionate Bourbon drinkers in the store today, most of them are looking for the rich, sweet, bold flavored, high proof editions that seem to have completely evaporated from today's market. Part of the reason the Van Winkle expressions (and the Weller Bourbons by default) became so beloved, besides the pull of pop culture, has to do with their sweeter profile due to the lack of rye grain in the mashbill as a balance. While not technically categorized as Bourbon (Dickel goes by Tennessee whiskey even though it qualifies as such), the distillery's high corn, low rye mash of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley results in a whiskey brimming with sweetness with less of the peppery and herbaceous elements. The only thing that's ever kept Dickel from becoming the next big thing in the American whiskey scene is the low proof, but that's where the company's single barrel program comes in. The individual casks dial up all that corny sweetness with a bolder ABV, transforming the normally mellow and creamy soft flavor of Dickel into something more beastly and unhinged.
I'll say it now and I'll say it again later after some of you email me wondering what happened to our inventory: BUY ONE OF EACH. Each is completely different, by design. I'm choosing casks that have variety and individuality as well as incredible flavor. Here's the rundown:
George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #7234K1002 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 - Barrel #1002 is for oak fiends who looked for the heaviest, most saturated single casks for their next needed fix. The profile begins with huge aromas of wood and polish and the oak simply explodes on the midpalate with the higher proof dialing it up on the finish. The corny sweetness does its best to penetrate the surface, but it keeps getting punched down by endless amounts of char and oak spice. It's a monster!
George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #7234K1003 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 - Barrel #1003 is a perfect example of everything today's modern Bourbon drinker goes gaga for: sweet vanilla and caramel corn on the entry bolstered by baking spices and heavily charred oak with the boldness of the high proof on the midpalate to electrify the taste buds. The finish has a bit of a burnt banana note, but it's quickly washed over with more creme brulee and oak sweetness. An absolutely bangin' bottle of whiskey!
George Dickel "K&L Exclusive" 9 Year Old Single Barrel #7234K1005 Tennessee Whiskey $44.99 - Barrel #1005 would fool even the most ardent Four Roses fan with its balance of fruit, oak, and spice, easily the most balanced and classic of the three current barrels we have in stock. Beautiful notes of oak and charred spice explode on the palate with hints of mocha and clove before a dark wave of burnt vanilla washes over the finish. If this bottle said Kentucky on the label we'd likely sell out in less than an hour.