Connoissuers well know there's nothing more satisfying than the silky smooth feel of a super premium, aged whiskey swirling around inside your mouth, washing over your tongue and hitting all of the major taste receptors, extracting every nuanced and delicate flavor note possible before finishing with the swallow which presents yet another round of taste sensations that sometimes linger for minutes...Well...that's not what this article is about. Super Premiums like Parkers Heritage Collection 27yo, Rittenhouse Rye Very Rare 25yo, Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20yo and others like them are the pinnacle of American Whiskeys to be enjoyed on those most special of occasions, unless of course you have more cash than you know what to do with. For the rest of us our prized collections will sit in the prominent spaces of our spirits cabinets gathering dust until something very special happens that is worthy of breaking that seal and popping that cork.
For those of us that like to drink whiskey regularly and not just on special occasions we look for a spirit that will somewhat match those ideals, is readily available, and does not break the bank every time we pick up a bottle. There are actually a number of premium American Whiskeys that fall into this category but that story is for another day, maybe a top five list. One such whiskey is George Dickel Tennessee Whisky-Barrel Select. (Yep, that's how they spell it.)
The George Dickel Distillery is located about an hour or so south of Nashville in the scenic locale of Cascade Hollow near Tullahoma, Tennessee. It's a fairly small concern when compared to its sister 'Tennessee Whiskey' maker - Jack Daniel's - which is loacted about 30-40 minutes away in Lynchburg. Dickel Barrel Select is considered a small batch whiskey bottled once a year by combining a paltry 10 barrels per batch which are hand selected by Master Distiller John Lunn. Average age of those barrels is between 10-12 years. Besides age a contributing factor in Barrel Selects smoothness and drinkability, this truly is a great sipping whiskey, is the distinctive process known as charcoal filtering where the unaged spirit is basically strained through several feet of sugar maple charcoal to remove certain impurities as well as adding elements that compliment taste and color. This is often referred to as The Lincoln County Process.
Drink Barrel Select over ice or with just a little water added. Delicious on the nose...oak, figs, and vanilla custard, no rawness at all. Around the mouth...very silky, reveals the high corn content in its sweetness, more custard, a little spiciness as well. Down the hatch...goes easy, smokey with a hint of raisins. 43% alc. Around $35 a bottle. A definite no brainer, a staple on my whiskey shelf.