George Dickel Barrel Select Review

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky Review

The George Dickel Barrel Select is pretty tasty stuff and with each batch being made from just 10 hand selected barrels you’re going to get a bit of variety in your bottle from batch to batch. Not nearly as much as you get with something like a Four Roses Single Barrel, but with batches blended this small there’s a lot of room for variance.

Each barrel of George Dickel starts out life as a dry blend of 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley before it’s mashed up, injected with a proprietary yeast strain and fermented in a vat of water. After proper fermentation it’s distilled first using a column still and then gets a second distillation in a pot still. The new make (moonshine) is then chilled and charcoal mellowed before being barreled and stored in a single story warehouse for 10-12 years before Master Distiller John Lunn comes along and picks it out for the small batch blending.

Overall I really enjoy this whisky. The nose is filled with wonderful complex bourbon and dessert notes that get balanced with earthier corn and dark fruit. The flavor profile is sweet punctuated with spices and grain while the finish shows off a bit more of the oak than either the aroma or the flavor. Hanging in a precarious balance leaning towards the sweet notes this is currently my favorite Tennessee whisky and I’ve been enjoying every sip.

George Dickel Barrel Select Tennessee Whisky Review

ABV: 43%
Age: 10 – 12 years
Mash: 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley
Price: $35
Distiller: George Dickel

Dark caramel with yellow hints

A little weak, but round and sweet it starts off with caramel, vanilla, toffee and corn. Sifting up through the corn husks in this glass are notes of sweet taffy, cherries, butterscotch, a bit of oak and twist of citrus. Hanging around in the background is a bit of astringency that pops up from time to time, but not a consistent factor.

Caramel starts us out but the corn comes rolling in close behind it. Amidst the rolling waves of caramel and corn are notes of vanilla, oak, clove and rye. There is a strange fennel like spice milling about in the background playing tag with a hint of mint. Pinning the whole thing together is a sweet char that’s a bit like a burned marshmallow.

Soft and creamy there’s a refined aspect to it.

Long and satisfying it starts out with some mighty notes of caramel, vanilla and cinnamon which fade to corn and oak

SCORE: 90/100

*This sample was graciously provided to me by Dickel’s PR agency.

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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12 Responses to George Dickel Barrel Select Review

  1. Josh, I’m excited to try this one as I just picked up a bottle for the holidays. GD No.8 is a great value in its price range. This was a little more $$ but hopefully worth it.

    • Hey Bryce,

      It should be, it’s a great whiskey. One thing I’ve noticed on bottles of this and the Hand Selected barrels is that after about 2 weeks they open up beautifully and become even better.

      • Josh, I gotta say I hope you’re right because so far this has been a disappointment. I’m on my second glass right now (had first one last night) and while up front its fine enough there is an unmistakable, cloying taste of what I can only describe as crushed multi-vitamins on the finish. I’ll give it a chance to open up as you describe, but if it doesn’t clear itself up there won’t be a second bottle.

  2. Just picked this up and excited to give it a go. Your George Dickel 8 and 12 reviews were spot on. Liked the 12 yr a little better but can’t seem to keep it around for very long:-)

  3. Reluctantly plunked down my self imposed per bottle limit of $40 on this. Not reluctantly because I thought I wouldn’t like it, but reluctantly because I was pretty sure I WOULD like it. I was right. My new favorite Tennessee spirit, supplanting Dickel No.12. Great unique nose with burnt popcorn, banana pudding and cinnamon. That banana cream carries over to the palate, combining with notes of other dried fruits, buttered popcorn and hazelnut char. One of the smoother finishes I can recall with that hazelnut note lingering. I’m sticking it at the back of the cabinet as a treat, but man-oh-man would this make a great everyday sipper.

  4. Just had a graduation party and my buddies loved this stuff, we shined the whole bottle off in one night, yiiiikes 🙂

  5. Josh, as a huge No 12 fan, I felt that this one was disappointing. To me, this just doesn’t have the character and flavor of No 12. I bought this while I was traveling through TN. I live in NC and I couldn’t get my Dickel in a single barrel there. Ya live and learn 😉

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