When you talk to passionate Bourbon drinkers today, most of them are looking for the rich, sweet, bold flavored, high proof editions that seem to have completely evaporated from today's market. Part of the reason the Van Winkle expressions (and the Weller Bourbons by default) became so beloved, besides the pull of pop culture, has to do with their sweeter profile due to the lack of rye grain in the mashbill as a balance. While not technically categorized as Bourbon (Dickel does by Tennessee whiskey even though it qualifies as such), the distillery's high corn, low rye mash of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley results in a whiskey brimming with sweetness with less of the peppery and herbaceous elements. The only thing that's ever kept Dickel from becoming the next big thing in the American whiskey scene is the low proof, but that's where the company's single barrel program comes in: each K&L selected single cask of Dickel comes with a 9 year old aged statement and a 51.5% ABV, dialing up the sweetness and sending serious Bourbon fans into a frenzy. Barrel #1002 is for oak fiends who looked for the heaviest, most saturated single casks for their next needed fix. The profile begins with huge aromas of wood and polish and the oak simply explodes on the midpalate with the higher proof dialing it up on the finish. The corny sweetness does its best to penetrate the surface, but it keeps getting punched down by endless amounts of char and oak spice. It's a monster!
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