Thanks to georgejessel for sharing this dram.
I’m less experienced with Tennessee whiskey than I should be. As someone who’s bourbon drinking family and friends prefer Kentucky based distilleries that’s where the majority of my American Whiskey comes from.
I think, therefore, I’ve been missing some of the options. That said it could also be because there’s two distilleries that put out the majority of Tennessee whiskey I end up seeing: George Dickel and Jack Daniel’s.
That’s all to say that today I’m finally getting to George Dickel Barrel Select for Astor Wine & Spirits. This is a 9-year-old single barrel pick that’s been watered down to a calm 103 proof.
But can Astor Wine & Spirits pick a good barrel? Or are there good barrels even (no shade, just being socratic about this)? I don’t know, so let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Couldn’t find a price
Bottled for Astor Wine & Spirits
Stated Age: 9-years-old
Colour: 7.5YR 6/8
Nose: Fruit cake, Flintstones tablettes, plum, peach, sour cream doughnut
Fruity but in a dried fruit and then a “we think this chemical makes fruit notes” way that eventually splits into “oh, yeah, that’s fruit” and a tart, sour, yeasty way.
I can see, if this nose doesn’t continue, why you’d pick this whisky. It still has one foot in notes I’ve read (and experienced) in other Tennessee whiskies and one foot in unique, cool land.
Taste: Fruit drink, ginger, molasses, carrot, anise, cherry
Light fruitiness, some spice, some molasses. It jumps between notes I’d associate with ex-Sherry whiskies and some very, very nice Bourbon notes.
Come to think of it, wasn’t there a WLW that was legendary due to the cherry flavour? Well done Dickel, get better marketers. Or don’t. Actually don’t, less marketing is better for humanity.
Finish: Hazelnut, burnt ends, oak, apple, Xmas spice, molasses
Nutty, meaty, some strong oak, more spices and molasses, and even some fruitiness. Very nice to sip on.
Conclusion: Now this is how you pick a bourbon. If this was still available I’d say get it, but I’d also say it’s time to check out who’s picking these and grab from them. The whole thing takes new steps to show what bourbon can do.
This is an impressive whiskey to have. Not “you’re gonna get flavours for years” or “the complexity it way out there”, just what I think of when I think of good whiskey. Not just bourbon, whiskey. There’s tons of distilleries from Scotland that push to get these flavours and are shipping casks from the continent on a regular basis for them.
Now will you like it if you’re a bourbon fan? Hard to say. I think Euro-Bourbon fans (as in bourbons aged in Europe) would find it interesting, but perhaps would want the sherry casks that it’s mimicking more. American fans will find something unique that they’ll either love or hate. Either way, try this if you ever see it.
Bourbon review #271, Tennessee review #10, Whiskey Network review #2087