Whiskey Review: George Dickel No. 1

“Mellow as Moonlight” is what the label claims – let’s see if that’s true.  But first – who makes it and how?

Being the helpful source of info that it is, Wikipedia told me how George A. Dickel immigrated to the US from Germany in 1844, and shortly thereafter started a company that bottled and distributed whiskey from the local distillers, before eventually starting up his own still. Fast forward a bit: Prohibition took its toll on the distillery, just like everyone else and the world went without George Dickel’s whisky for nearly forty years. It wasn’t until 1958 that the first mash was produced at the new distillery.

And no – that’s not a typo. George spelled his whisky without an E because, according to their website, “Declaring his whisky of equal quality to the finest scotch, George Dickel followed in the Scottish tradition of spelling whisky without an “e.” George also thought whisky made in the winter was smoother than booze made in the summer, so it’s also the only Tennessee hooch that’s chilled before going through the “Lincoln County process” – filtered through sugar maple charcoal. It’s also the whisky they age to make No. 8, No. 12 and Barrel Select.

Let’s find out what it’s like – here are my tasting notes. Sláinte!

Color: Clear – pretty much what you’d expect from something named white whisky.

Nose: Heavy on the sweet smell of corn (duh – it’s 84% corn) but almost a caramel corn, with a bit of an ethanol burn toward the end. (Remember: smelling a whiskey shouldn’t involve shoving the bottle up your nose, nor should you shove your nose into your glass. Open your mouth slightly, keep your nose a few inches from the top of the glass, inhale through your nose evenly and deeply for about 10 seconds.)

Taste: It tastes exactly like it smells, heavier on the caramel corn taste, with almost a cotton candy sweet finish. There’s a bit of a burn, almost a throat-tingly sensation toward the end, but it IS 91 proof.

Other comments:  I’ll be honest. I’ve tried a broad range of white whiskies and can name on one hand the ones that I’d drink again. Maybe even half a hand. Many of them have an almost tequila-like nose, and some very strange tastes to match (the aftertaste of one was chocolate covered raisins, to give you an idea). I haven’t tried No. 1 mixed yet, but I think it would be a good substitute for vodka, though with the sweetness, I’m not sure how well it would balance in a savory cocktail. But ginger beer or with a bit of your favorite fruit juice + club soda, I think it will be cool and refreshing. I can safely say that I’ll add George Dickel’s No. 1 Whisky to my list!

Price point:  $21.99 (MSRP)

ABV: 45.5% (91 proof)

Availability: National

8.5 pancakes out of 10 – nicely done!

Article by Jeanne Runkle

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