DSR – TN – 014: George Dickel Bourbon Whisky
Company/Distillery: Cascade Hollow Whisky Co.
Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee
Mash Bill: 84% Corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley
Age Statement: 8 Years Old
Proof/ABV: 90 Proof/45% ABV
Color & Viscosity: From the bottle, this George Dickel Bourbon Whisky presents tawny in color. Viewing this whisky from the glass, it appears to have a russet color. Tilting the tasting vessel to the side, a sharp thin viscous line develops then forms a thick lip. A second tilt of the glass produces an oily film as legs glide rapidly down to the belly of the tasting vessel.
Purchase Price: $32.95 from the NC ABC Store – 750 ml Bottle
Bottle Label Information:
“George Dickel Bourbon Whisky”
“Aged 8 Years”
“Cascade Hollow Distillery”
“Our Finest Quality Bourbon”
“Charcoal Chill Filtered | Handcrafted Small Batch”
“Aged 8 Years”
“This handcrafted, small-batch bourbon is richly complex, perfected by time, experience and true craftsmanship. To create something this special, we use local spring water, choose only our best quality of grains, and create our own charcoal from sugar maple for our signature chilled charcoal filtration process. Once distilled, we age our bourbon gracefully in charred oak barrels for 8 years and then blend it to perfection. Now that’s what we call smooth sippin’ whisky.”
“Distilled and Produced by Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., Tullahoma, TN”
The Beginning (1818-1878)
George A. Dickel was born in Germany in 1818. In 1844, a 26 year old Dickel would emigrate from Germany to the United States where he would eventually find his home in the area of Nashville, Tennessee. Dickel started his life in Nashville as a local shop owner and merchant selling goods to locals. A mere 17 years down the road, in 1861, Dickel would venture into the world of liquor sales for the very first time. This would turn out to be a decision that would set him on the path of great success and opportunity.
After the Civil War, Dickel would establish the George A. Dickel Wholesale Company. He would specialize in the procurement and purchasing of different whiskies from multiple distillers around Tennessee. Dickel would then sell these products to retailers to be sold to the end consumers. Dickel’s proficiency in this endeavor would allow him to build a relationship with the distilleries of John F. Brown and F.E. Cunningham from Cascade Hollow in Tullahoma, TN.
Cascade Hollow Distillery and Prohibition
In 1878, the Cascade Hollow Distillery would officially open with a purchase from Dickel, allowing him to own a significant stake in the business. The following year, the distillery would bring McLin Davis on board as Master Distiller. Davis is credited with the George A. Dickel recipe that is still used today. Dickel would remain greatly involved in the distillery up until his health started to deteriorate and Prohibition began in Tennessee.
As the Prohibition era started to take its hold on Tennessee, Dickel’s brother-in-law, Victor Emmanuel Schwab, would take over the distillery. Due to the restrictions placed on the distillery, Mr. Schwab would make the decision to move the facility and production to the Stitzel Distillery in Kentucky. The facility would remain at this location and produce medicinal spirits from 1916 until 1956.
Cascade Hollow Distillery Today
In 1956, Ralph Dupps would begin to rebuild the Cascade Hollow Distillery just a short distance from its original spot. The distillery would open two years later and distill its first batch on July 4, 1959. They would later produce their first bottle in 1964. During this new move, the distillery would solidify some of the hallmarks of whisky as developed by Dickel himself. The Lincoln County Process would be a critical part of the process. Dickel preferred distilling in the winter months as he believed that the nighttime cooling of the mash produced a much smoother product. Today, the distillery still honors this tradition by chill filtering its whisky. Finally, the distillery uses Tennessee barrels with char #4 on the interior of the barrel and char #2 on the barrel heads.
The current George Dickel product line includes: George Dickel No. 1 White Corn Whisky; George Dickel Classic No. 8; George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish; George Dickel Superior No. 12; George Dickel Rye Whisky; George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond; George Dickel Barrel Select.
Sources: Big Whiskey by Carlo Devito; George A. Dickel Whisky Website
Tasting Date/Vessel: May 1, 2022 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Couple drops of distilled water.
Christian: In the bottle, George Dickel Bourbon Whisky emits generous amounts of freshly harvested tobacco leaves and fragrant oak barrel char – a very traditional experience. In my Glencairn glass, this whisky is uber sweet smelling. Dark rich corn syrup immediately jumps out of my glass. Cereal grains are the dominant notes I am noticing. This reminds me a bit of Corn Flakes with a dash of powdered sugar. A second pass allows the addition of baking spices, vanilla custard, and oak barrel to jump forward. The nose is delicate overall with no specific aroma overpowering the other. A nice well-balanced bouquet of smells welcomes the taster. The addition of distilled water to my glass really ramps up the sweet syrup in this pour. It leans more towards maple or molasses in nature rather than corn syrup. Baking spice and vanilla remain a nice accompaniment to the sweet syrup. A slight nuttiness, similar to honey roasted pecan, appears.
Mike: As I nose this George Dickel 8 Year from the bottle, I am slightly intoxicated with notes of fresh cut oak that is delicately charred. Lifting the glass to my nose, soft brown sugar tones burst from glass then close with a sweet aroma of homemade simple syrup and lightly drizzled honey. This whisky is exceedingly sweet on the nose, but there is a cut of rye spice that slices through back to front.
Christian: The mouthfeel of this offering by George Dickel is light and soft. The tasting experience is nowhere near as sweet as the nose led me to believe. Rye spice is strong and arrives in the form of peppery baking spice. Brown sugar, oak barrel, and just a touch of leather and caramel tickle the tongue. Water really makes the mouthfeel watered down. Baking spice becomes a little more subdued while allowing the caramel and oak barrel to shine. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of peppery spice is present, but it is more of an afterthought than the first flavor you notice.
Mike: This whiskey offers a quick punch of sweetness on the lips that quickly fades to an oaky dryness front to mid-palate. The essence of brown sugar lingers on the tip of the tongue then fades into faint cinnamon candies and muted vintage leather.
Christian: Wow, this George Dickel is surprisingly aggressive, but not in a bad way. The whisky drinks well over the 90 proof at which it is bottled. A slight dryness is accompanied by the nice warmth that builds in the throat and goes deep into my chest. Allspice or clove is still the flavor that is noticed first, but this is quickly joined by hints of vanilla and oak char. Later, after the spirit has been consumed, a nice punch of corn sweetness and simple syrup, along with delicate green apple, wells up on the palate. A nice finish to a surprisingly interesting pour. Water doesn’t really take the punch or zip out of this pour and that is a positive. Green apple intensifies and stands up nicely to the oak barrel char that is present. I think this could be a flavorful addition to an old fashion or your favorite bourbon cocktail.
Mike: George Dickel 8 Year drinks slightly hotter than 90 proof. This whisky offers a medium finish that is a touch arid on the back-end. A snap of black pepper spice strikes the back of the throat with a prolonged oak tannin bitterness that is noticeable, but not at all off-putting.
Christian: Honestly, going into this review, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was a big fan of the Single Barrel George Dickel we tasted earlier on in our adventure. Unfortunately, that was a year or more ago, and I don’t have any more to try side by side with this pour. I can unequivocally say that I prefer this iteration of George Dickel over the 13-year Bottled in Bond that we tried. The flavor here is robust, pronounced, and well-balanced. You get a nice sweet nose, traditional flavors, and a stout finish, all within a 90-proof bourbon. A quality sipper neat or a nice addition to a cocktail – all while not breaking the bank. Would I put this on my bar for friends to enjoy? I absolutely would, without any hesitation!
Rating: 3.25 Rickhouses
Mike: The first word that comes to mind when I drink this whisky is adequate. The price point for an 8 year age stated whisky is more than reasonable. George Dickel 8 Year will not disappoint any consumer, but I found the flavors a tad understated. This whisky has a subdued profile from nose to mouth and punches slightly above its weight on the finish. I really like it, but I am honestly not in love with it. This is a keeper on the bar and as I stated earlier, should be palatable for any level consumer.
Rating: 3.25 Rickhouses