Sunday, April 26, 2020

George Dickel Bottled In Bond Tennessee Whisky

- $40
- 100 Proof
- 13 Years
- Tennessee

Not that I ever really paid attention to Whisky Advocate rankings, but now I have a reason to deliberately ignore them in the future. Towards the end of last year, Whisky Advocate released its Top 20 whiskeys of 2019--business as usual. However, I'm pretty sure nearly the entire whiskey community was shocked when they saw a George Dickel product ranked #1.

At the time the article was released, I had yet to see the George Dickel Bottled in Bond on shelves here in the Chicago area. I probably would have grabbed a bottle just to try it regardless, but now that it was actually making headlines, when I got the chance to finally snag one, I jumped at the chance. I felt I needed to at least see for myself what all the fuss was about. I quickly realized that I really didn't . . .

When I first popped the cork, I immediately noticed something weird and off about this whisky. It smelled like waffles. Waffles smothered in maple syrup. It was very distinct in that respect, and you're probably thinking, okay, sounds alright so far. But that's where it got a bit weird. Along with the maple syrup covered waffles note, I also got a sweet potato smell. It actually smelled starchy, if that makes sense. I don't know how to describe it other than that it smelled like an uncooked potato.

And then I got the note that I've heard so much about - grape Flintstones Vitamins. It actually had a chalky, fake grape flavor to it, and all I could think about was Flintstones Vitamins. I couldn't get past it, as much as I wanted to enjoy the waffles smell, or even the sweet potato (though I wasn't as concerned with that one). I could not get past that note, and it really put me off every single time I caught a whiff.

Unfortunately, the flavor was no better. The dominant flavor in this whisky?  Yep, grape Flintstones Vitamins.  I've heard of people getting this note in Dickel products. I've had other Dickel whiskies, and while I've never really been a big fan, I've never gotten chalky, artificial grape flavor. Yet that is nearly all I got in this one.  My father-in-law thought I poured him a flavored whisky, it was that strong (he immediately poured his down the drain).

There were some other flavors to be picked out. I did get a bit of an odd vanilla syrup note, like the kind of syrups you see at coffee bars, as well as a touch of banana. Of course this was all quite disgusting when paired with chalky, artificial grape flavoring.

I even got some bitter orange pith at times, which I might enjoy under certain circumstances, but which does not pair well with chalky, artificial grape flavoring. I even got a bit of a doughy pie crust note. However, it only confirmed for me that I never want to try a grape pie made with artificial grape flavoring and chalk dust. I probably didn't really need to confirm that, but you get my point.

I did struggle through and eventually finish this bottle (the fact that I was able to finish it was the only thing that kept this from getting an "F"), but I frankly thought it was terrible. I have no idea what the people at Whisky Advocate had for lunch that day, or how much money Dickel may have paid them for that number one spot, but that ranking is absolutely dumbfounding. This not only failed to live up to the ranking, but would be right at the bottom of my list if I were to rank every whiskey I've ever had.

Grade: D-

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