Tuesday, May 24, 2016

George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey

VITALS:
- $24
- 90 Proof

I feel like it's been a while since I visited the lower shelves, and, quite frankly, I feel like I'm doing myself a disservice. While I have been lucky to run into some really nice bottles of top shelf bourbon lately, there's so much value to be found on the lower end of the spectrum that it simply should not be ignored.

So, I grabbed a bottle of Dickel. At $24, it's incredibly reasonably priced. I'm not sure, quite frankly, if I've had it before, whether at a bar or elsewhere, and even if I have, it was probably in a mixed drink. This time I was going to give it my full attention and a chance to stand on its own.

Much to my surprise, it stands up very well on its own. It's a different flavor than bourbon, and I even found that it differed quite a bit from it's primary Tennessee Whiskey counterpart, Jack Daniels. The charcoal that I expected to permeate wasn't really there. Rather, the nose was a healthy mix of banana and tobacco leaf, which even seems like an odd combination as I type the words, but yet it worked well.

The palate is sweet, but does not cross that line into being overly sweet. I primarily noticed an odd mix of banana and pine (and this mix was about as odd as it seems when I type the words). Underneath that weird mixture, however, is a light spice blending with vanilla and wood tones that were quite enjoyable once I got to them.

On the back end is a light pepper spice along with a light smokiness. The charcoal that I expected from the beginning also started to creep its way in right at the end.

All in all, I was surprised at the complexity of this whiskey, considering it's somewhat of a staple bottle. Although it's complex and offers a lot of different notes, sometimes resulting in an odd commingling of flavors, none of the flavors is particularly overpowering or bold, which makes it nonetheless easy to enjoy. Although I'd imagine this is a popular whiskey for mixed drinks, I found it to be pretty enjoyable on its own, particularly at its price point.

Grade: B

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