Review: George Dickel Bottled in Bond

George Dickel Bottled in Bond is a new release from Cascade Hollow Distilling Company (previously Dickel Distillery, but Diageo decided to rebrand the distillery and have George Dickel be a brand within the company).  It’s a Bottled in Bond, charcoal filtered, 13 year old Tennessee whiskey…for under $40.  Yes, you read that right.

I walked into one of my favorite stores today with the idea that I was going to pick up a bottle of Laphroaig 10 for an Islay tasting I would be hosting this weekend.  Upon entering the store, the liquor manager saw me and came to say hello and discuss what’s new.  I enjoy going to this particular location because all of the staff are friendly and everyone seems to be on top of their whiskey game.  We looked through the stuff in the display cabinet and talked about some of the bottles for a bit, then he asked me if I had gotten a bottle of the new Dickel.  I’m thinking, “Why would I want Dickel?”  I’m not really a huge fan of their flavor profile or for that matter, most Tennessee whiskey.  He began telling me about it and the conversation went a little something like this:

“Bottled in Bond?  Okay, I like that.  13 years old you say?  That’s pretty old, especially for being Bottled in Bond….what?  Could you repeat that?  $39.99?!  Yeah, I’ll take one.”

He said they only got one case in and still had it in the back, so he went to go grab it.  He came back with it in hand and was like “Oh, did you get a bottle of Old Fitz 13 yet?  I just got a 3 pack randomly and have one left.  Do you want it?”  Yes, yes I do.  And that’s how one bottle turned into three.

So I didn’t really know what to expect with the Dickel BiB, but I had relatively high hopes considering the age and being BiB.  The nose was rich, sweet and had a nice bouquet of spices.  I went to my pantry and dug around and the closest I could find were clove and maybe a hint of nutmeg.  There’s also a bit of leather on the nose, but it’s not super prevalent.  The palate starts with a mild alcohol burn (to be expected since it is 100 proof) but that quickly dissipates and warms the mouth.  There’s wood spice and leather, sweetness, but not overly so.  Dickel’s description also indicates there’s supposed to be tropical fruits and I was unable to taste those without taking a bite of some cheese prior to taking a sip (smoked gouda if anyone cares).  The addition of a few drops of water brings out a bit more of the sweetness, which I imagine some could perceive as the tropical fruits.  The tradeoff being that the leather and spice notes are toned down a bit.  The finish is medium length, rich and warm; after adding water, the finish is almost dessert like, as if you’ve just taken a bite of a rich honey cake with a caramelized, buttery crumb crust.  I almost want a glass of milk now.

Well, Dickel, you’ve done it.  You’ve made a very pleasant Tennessee whiskey that checks a lot of boxes.  Bottled in Bond, 13 year age stated, 100 proof all for an astounding $40 or less.  That’s value folks.  Toss out any preconceived notions you may have about Dickel products as this is a real winner in my books.  Hopefully it will be distributed widely enough that I can snag another bottle or two just to keep on hand as I’m sure this bottle will be gone pretty quickly, especially when I share it with my tasting group.  I’d say this is a definite pickup for the price point and a rather enjoyable pour.

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