Review: George Dickel Rye Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Producer George Dickel (Tullahoma, Tennessee)

George Dickel produces a number of products which they filter through maple charcoal in the Lincoln County process – a signature of Tennesse whisky (and, therefore, also Jack Daniel’s). George Dickel is the other major Tennessee distillery, making this rye – however, this one they don’t distill. They do filter it through maple charcoal, but it is produced at MGP in Indiana – a distillery well known for their rye (used in Bulleit rye, this one, and others) with a signature 95% rye mashbill. It is about 5 years old.

Interestingly, MGP, in Indiana, which makes this rye, uses the same “V” yeast strain as Four Roses (as in the single barrel) as they were all once part of Seagrams, a Canadian company, which used a number of different yeasts and products for blending purposes.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Nose: Enticing – vanilla, dried orange, oak, cherry, and a fat, rich grainy body. Dry spices as well are in the mix, and there is a beautiful floral edge to this which the oak hasn’t killed (as happens with some ryes made in new oak)- I love it. There’s a slight bit of stale bitterness to this, at times, which does detract, but it doesn’t always show its head. A real showcase of rye which reminds me how wonderful the grain is for whisky.

Taste: Fairly sweet and dry, with some black tea, pepper, tannins, rye with some lighter apply and cherry fruitiness, and some spices and a good kick of oak. The intensity of the rye is quite intense, and it has some of that distinct arugula earthiness and flax/linseed character. Fairly sweet, too.

Finish: Long – black tea, with some lightly fruity and funky rye and the oak sticking around and the lightest touch of malt. Spicy and grassy, lightly earthy, with maple, cola, mint, cinnamon, and apples too

This is very nice – and certainly so for the price. To get a rye of this caliber at a price like this is quite outstanding – certainly amidst what is available in Ontario this oughtto be a big hit. It does nicely with the oak and the rye, and is, simply, just a good American rye.

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

Value: High, at $37.