I have always liked the George Dickel Distillery products. Their No.12 has always been my “go to” Tennessee Whisky since my days at United Distillers. It is a very solid Tennessee whisky with just a touch of smoky flavor from the mellowing process. United Distillers is now Diageo. Historically, they have never given the Dickel whiskies the amount of support and advertising it deserves. I am very happy to see that they are doing more with the brand and have released a Bottled-in-Bond version of Dickel. I like it even better that it is a 13 year old bonded whisky. You will notice that I am using the English spelling of “whisky” without the “e”. That is because George Dickel never used the “e” when he sold his whiskey. Dickel was German and not from Great Britain. I suspect he did not use the “e” in his spelling because the legal documents in America do not use the “e”. This is because our legal system is based upon British Common Law and that is the way whisky was spelled in legal documents before the revolution.
Age: 13 years old
Nose: Smoky with a buttery ripe apple with pepper and oak with a hint of chocolate that comes out as it breathes.
Taste: Wood smoke, coffee, apples, caramel and oak with some sweet baking spices. Tasted with a dried cranberry, the apple comes forward, the caramel becomes more French vanilla and the spice becomes white pepper. Tasted with a pecan will bring out a lot of smoke, white pepper and caramel apple with a little bit of hazelnut.
Finish: Long and dry with lots of oak and wood smoke with a hint of baking spices. The cranberry simply enhances the notes that are in the finish and lengthens the finish even longer than before. Surprisingly, the finish with the pecan is about the same as the cranberry. I would say this whiskey holds its own with any food.
I chose a cigar called The Wiseman, or El Gueguense, to pair with this whisky. I find the smoke to be a rich tobacco with some caramel and cedar spiciness. The whisky made the smoke very creamy with a hint of pepper spice. The smoke brought out the hazelnut flavor and enhanced the oak while actually decreasing the wood smoke notes. It was a very good pairing that I will do again.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller