George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey has been making waves the past few years, with their well received Barrel Select release followed by subsequent 9 & 14 year old single barrel offerings. But their newly appointed master distiller Allisa Henley is taking her first specialty release a step further by releasing the oldest Tennessee whiskey on the market. George Dickel 17 Year Distillery Reserve was somewhat of an accidental find for Henley, while perusing the rick house in search of some more nine year old whiskey for the single barrel program, she stumbled upon 80 barrels that seemed to have slipped out of memory.
“I was figuring it in my head and I said, ‘Wow, this is 17 years old,’ which is odd because everything is usually 12 to 14 or less,” Henley said from the distillery tasting room. “I was already thinking this is getting too old. Why are we holding on to it? Immediately I came up and pulled some samples and it was amazing. It was really smooth, had some spice to it, and real rich oak, but not too much.”
It makes one think how many other long forgotten barrels are inhabiting dusty corners of rick houses just waiting to be unearthed.
George Dickel 17 Year is comprised of their standard mash bill [84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley] and comes bottled at 43.5% Alcohol [87 Proof]. If you’re wanting to add a bottle to your collection you’ve got two hurdles to overcome, first is the price, a 375 ml bottle will set you back a cool $75 USD. Second is that this will largely be a distillery only release so you’ll need to visit their visitor center to pick it up after it’s launch on June 6th, or wait until a few bottles make their way to select liquor stores in Tennessee.
For me this bottle will likely be a pass as I just can’t get passed the price point, but if any of you pick one up, be sure to let me know what you think of it.
Tasting notes: Sweet birthday cake on nose, vanilla and white pepper spice, toasted oak, very smooth with low heat, light and short sugar cookie finish
George A. Dickel & Co. Cascade Hollow Distillery
1950 Cascade Hollow Road
Tullahoma, TN 37388 USA