Your Questions, Our Answers
There's plenty to know about George Dickel Tennessee Whisky. If you're on this page, then chances are, you have questions. Which is fine, because we have answers. And if we don't have the right one, then by all means, send us an email with your question and we'll do our best to answer it.
What is Tennessee whisky?
For starters, Tennessee whisky is not a bourbon. By federal regulation, it is a separate whisky category that differs primarily in the extra steps taken immediately after distilling, such as charcoal mellowing. At that time in the distillation process, the whisky is seeped very slowly through vats packed with charcoal. There are only a couple of Tennessee whiskies. Both use aged, hard sugar maple trees to make their own charcoal, but George Dickel still fires its charcoal the old-fashioned way: in the open air.
What is sour mash?
Sour mash refers to the technique used in the preparation of most, if not all, straight whisky. The sour mash method, which makes the yield more efficient, involves seeding, or seasoning, a new batch of mash with a portion of the previous day's mash. It's also known as "baskset," "setback" or "stilling back" and is taken from the base of the still. It may be added to the grain mash in the cooker, the yeast mash, the fermenting vessels, or all three. This sour mash process ensures that the new run of whisky will have the exact same taste as the previous day's distillation and continuity in fermentation. It also guards against the invasion of wild yeast. Sour mash got its name because the thin spirit "beer" remaining had a slightly acidic taste, although the resultant whisky was anything but sour.
What type of aging warehouses does George Dickel use?
There are two types of warehouses: brick/stone and tin/sheet metal. George Dickel uses sheet metal warehouses and is the only one that uses one story warehouses. All other distilleries use anywhere from two to thirteen story warehouses. George Dickel stacks their barrels six high and believes that you can't get the same consistency if the barrels are stacked too high due to varying temperatures from the top to the bottom of the warehouse. All of Dickel's warehouses are in the same location to insure uniform aging conditions.
Does the Distillery sell used whisky barrels?
We presently sell a few barrels when they're available. Call (931) 857-3124 to check availability.
Should a corked bottle be turned on its side?
If a bottle of whisky or any liquid has a cork closure and has been sitting upright for a number of years, the bottle will experience natural evaporation. However, if that same bottle is turned on its side after many years and the cork is very dry and brittle, then it will leak a bit. If this is the case, we suggest turning it on its side with a cloth underneath. If the jug or bottle continues to leak, consider turning it back to the upright position. Anything with a cork closure should be turned on its side and stay that way until use. This will keep the cork moist and easy to remove without breaking or flaking into the bottle.
How can I buy George Dickel?
Ask your local retailer if they can order it or find some for you. If that doesn't work, you can go online to www.alcoholreviews.com and make a purchase, if state and local laws permit.
What is the taste difference between George Dickel No. 8 and No.12?
Dickel No. 12 is 90 proof and has a refined, dry taste with a crisp finish. It is characterized as aromatic with a hint of vanilla – a result of the charcoal mellowing and slow aging process. This superior whisky stands in a class by itself. Dickel No. 8 is 80 proof and is described as very clean and balanced, with a hint of sweetness.
How can I find the 10-Year Reserve?
Unfortunately, the 10-Year Reserve is no longer being bottled. It was part of a Bourbon Heritage Collection that sold quite well. Hopefully, we'll see it again in the future.
Does George Dickel export its product?
Unfortunately, it is not the distillery's decision whether the product is exported. If it were up to us, we would want everyone in the world to taste our fine product. Due to our parent company's corporate structure, a decision was made not to export Dickel at this time. Anyone wishing to import Dickel needs to contact the Diageo office in Miami, FL USA at 1-(800) 767-3123 (from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm)
Can you tell me about the "Dickel's for Drinkin'" poster series?
The production of the posters was in reaction to the overwhelming requests generated by ads in various national magazines in 1982. The first ad depicted a gentleman wearing a cowboy hat in an old fashioned bathtub with the caption, "Water's for Washin', Dickel's for Drinkin' ". Four additional posters followed:
"Water's for Fishin' " - January 1983
"Dickel's for Givin' " - Christmas 1983
"Water's for Floatin' " - May 1984
"Water's for Sprinklin' " - July 1984
Can you tell me about the George Dickel wooden boxes?
Riverboat Boxes were produced in the early 1980's around the holiday season. They were dubbed the "Riverboat Boxes" at the distillery because the first two bottlings depicted riverboats. However, there were approximately 21 different scenes on the covers including boats, some for various states or special events. The box held two 750 ml bottles of Dickel or one bottle on one side and two rocks glasses on the other. These were very limited bottlings: some were as small as 25 cases of a particular scene. The riverboat seemed to be most popular.
How much are old Dickel bottles worth?
We know from talking with collectors over the years that, as you would expect, the age and condition of a bottle determines the true value. For example, a bottle with all seals, labels, marks and the box it came in would put it in mint condition and the value would be much higher than just an empty bottle. So, if you have a bottle you think might be worth something, we'd suggest checking with antique dealers or bottle collectors.
How much are certain Dickel collector's items worth?
Although they are all invaluable to us, there is no special price that can be applied to any item. Many George Dickel collectibles are traded online and their value, like most things, is a matter of personal taste.