When you talk to passionate bourbon drinkers today, most of them are looking for the rich, sweet, boldly 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 mash bill as a balance. While not technically categorized as bourbon (Dickel goes 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 age statement and 51.5% ABV, dialing up the sweetness and sending serious bourbon fans into a frenzy. Barrel #1004 has strong aromas of herbaceous, peppery spices on the nose with heavy pencil shavings and toasted oak. It's decidedly less sweet than all of the other Dickel barrels we've featured in 2017 with a robust richness that finishes like a fine bottle of Four Roses. Basically, if you're looking for a 9 year old bottle of cask strength OBSV for $20 less per bottle, this is fine substitute. For serious Bourbon fans.
By: Andrew Stevens
K&L Staff Member
While I do love a big rich bourbon I have to say my taste tends to run to ones with more rye in them giving me more herbaceous and spice notes. This is why I have always gravitated to the Four Roses Single Barrels over some of the wheated bourbons so I was excited to taste this Dickel for about 2/3 the price of my single barrel Four Roses. Elegant vanilla and spice are mixed with rich wood and an earthy toasted quality. A dry and surprisingly mild heat finish make this a wonderful addition to any bourbon lover's collection.
By: Jeffrey Jones
K&L Staff Member
I just tasted barrel 1004 and barrel 1008 at the same time. The difference between these single barrels is pronounced. Barrel 1004 has a nose of caramel but it is nuanced and subtle. In the mouth it is on the drier side with the influence of the wood aging showing, adding subtle spice and savory notes. While it is fun to taste the different barrels and how they all age differently, I think that it is good to remember that they are all delicious from a great distillery.
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