Review: George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

84% Corn, 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
Distiller George Dickel (Tullahoma, Tennessee)

George Dickel is the other distillery in Tennessee, the second major whiskey producer in Tennessee after Jack Daniel’s – the largest American whiskey producer in the world. This whiskey is aged 12 years, and filtered through maple charcoal in regulation with the Lincoln County process which Tennessee Whiskey employs. However, unlike Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel chill their products before they filter it through the charcoal, and do so faster than Jack Daniel’s resulting in a different stripping process. Great value for this whiskey, and often a pleasant surprise for guests at tastings I have lead.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Nose: Creamy, corn-driven, lightly nutty, raisins, and some really nice oak integration, vanilla, spice – rich flavours here. It’s fairly bready, the yeasty-grainy smell of rising dough. Some of the grain is a bit funky at times and I don’t know whether I like it or not, which on one hand is a good thing because it keeps me thinking.

Taste: Dried corn, dried cherries, with some woody spice which continues on with some honey before gradually letting you down at the finish. The tannins are certainly felt in this one, but it’s not too bitter. Some nice wood smoke in the mix, too, which adds quite a nice edge. I once infused dried chipotle peppers into black eyed peas as they were boiling away, and the grainy-smoky characteristics of this whisky remind me of that.

Finish: Quite bold, retaining its woodiness and honeyed corn character and a decent punch of a spicy peppery feel. Some light apple and dried cherry comes into the mix as well. There’s a nice buttery aspect to the finish too, which I quite like. It makes me think this would do wonders as well whipped into a bit of cream and put on top of a dense chocolate cake…regardless, the spicy/dry dynamic is great here.

This is quite a nice product, particularly for the price. Nothing is out of whack, it’s well put together – though the nose is the weakest part. Certainly one I enjoy to sip…I really quite like their rye, which I might put above this one, but this is still a solid product. The spicy bite at the end makes this one quite addictive and really makes me want another sip. I think I would prefer the Dickel Rye more – if not for the lovely spicy finish on this one. Fabulous value.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, at $30.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L7177R60011413 0307110195531w

  • Bottling Date: 2017

A sweet, rich nose – slightly nutty (marzipan!), almond cookies, oak, green apple, wet marsh, brown rice, and a very floral vanilla character. The palate is sweet, oaky, spicy, and rich – still lots of green apple, vanilla. The corn mixed with the oak is just brilliant. The feel really grips on the palate, too. What a solid whiskey. It’s not breathtaking- but what a whiskey, and what value. The finish fades somewhat quickly, but with more dried corn, oak, and wood smoke.

Hard to do better than this in Ontario if you don’t want to dish out much money. Terrific.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, at $30.