Thanksgiving has become one of the most beloved American holidays despite lacking any religious significance or deep patriotic roots. One can't be surprised by Thanksgiving's popularity, there's nothing more enjoyable than getting together with your best friends and taking the time to appreciate life with some delicious food, great stories, and delectable beverages. So when we were sent a bottle of George Dickel Sour Mash Whisky from a hand selected barrel as part of our participation in their Dickel Dozen program we knew exactly what we were going to do with it. As our office's Thanksgiving feast started to die down and the majority of the workers returned to their desks to slip into food coma Inked's Editor-In-Chief Rocky Rakovic, our Beverage Director Joe Donahue and myself sat down and cracked open our bottle of Dickel.
We thought that we were in for something special even before we pulled the signed and numbered bottle out of the hand crafted wooden box, and we were not mistaken. Upon it's first pour it's impossible not to notice the deep color the whisky has obtained from the nine years spent in an oak barrel. Holding our glasses to the light (we broke out glasses instead of the standard red party cups, a rarity in the Inked offices) we swirled the whisky to get a good look at the legs, it has a very nice weight. It's viscous without appearing to be syrupy. Next we plunged our noses deep into our glasses to take a sniff. We're all friends here, no reason to be bashful. We were delighted with a pleasant bouquet heavy with vanilla and only a hint of alcohol burn. One could appreciate the beauty and scent of the drink all day long, but that isn't exactly the point, now is it? It was time to taste.
While the whisky was all vanilla on the nose it was primarily caramel on the tongue. In addition to the caramel there were also notes of pink peppercorn that gave depth to the drink. After adding a couple of drops of water into the glass the flavors opened up even more. The whisky has a nice, long finish that should be savored. Some may have fears that a whiskey bottled at 103 proof will burn and taste overwhelmingly of alcohol but that is absolutely not the case here. Where high proof can hurt other beverages it was an asset to this one.
"The higher proof really pushes forward the spicier notes of the whisky," says Donahue. "It creates a robust spirit that still drinks easily."
What was supposed to be a quick tasting for an article ended up becoming an hours-long conversation between friends—and that is exactly how George Dickel would have wanted it. We highly recommend pouring a glass of George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey for all of your loved ones (and yourself, of course), raising it up, and giving thanks. Let us know what you toast to by hashtagging #dickel and #inkedmag on your social media.