One of the benefits of being a BarFly is that we occasionally get contacted by spirits companies to try out their new products. With many thanks to Taylor Strategies who represents Diageo, one of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage companies, we’ve been able to attend great events like the Dickel Rye and Orphan Barrel launches in San Francisco. So it was a great surprise when they contacted us about their latest program, the “Dickel Dozen,” in which they have selected bloggers throughout the US to taste and opine about their special bottles of hand-selected whisky barrels.
We are truly honored and excited to be selected as part of the program. They sent us this custom video made by Dickel Brand Ambassador Douglas Kragel telling us how they selected this special bottling (it’s also very informative of how they make their whiskies in general):
The base for most of the Dickel Tennessee Whiskeys is comprised of 84% corn, 6% rye and 6% malted barley mash. Dickel’s distiller sets aside a limited number of casks that represent some of their finest tasting whiskies; these can be purchased as a merchant bottling, such as special bottling for bars, restaurants or individuals. In this case, they pulled out at least a dozen bottles of this special nine-year old whisky to send to the Dickel Dozen. Note that the special crate has a brass plaque along the spine stating “Hand Made the Hard Way,” an appropriate slogan for this special package:
So how does it taste? It’s unlike any Dickel Whisky we have had thus far: its dark color attests to the barrel treatment it receives. The deep, complex aromas grab your attention, alerting your senses that this is no ordinary bottling. The mouthfeel is rich and round, with a captivating fullness. The strong oak and vanilla overtones are highly balanced with just a hint of sweetness and spice. Even at a proof level of 103, it does not need any dilution with branch water or ice. We would highly recommend ordering this bottle if it is ever spotted at a bar:
The custom crates were created by wood craftsman Jimmy DiResta, who shows the whole process in this fascinating video:
Normally, we would try to create a whiskey-based cocktail, and certainly this would make a great Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but it’s best enjoyed on its own, neat.
A cask of whisky contains about 350 bottles, and the suggested retail price of this Dickel bottle is $44.99 — a great value if they ever release more of it. Maybe we can all go in together and communally buy a cask, any takers?