The George Dickel No. 8 opens with a lovely grainy nose of rye—just not the kind of rye the you might expect. It was redolent with pumpernickel, like I was lost in a Westphalian bakery after failing to find ham. It’s the pumpernickeliest whiskey I’ve ever smelt. Which calls the question, “Is a whiskey that evokes burning really good pumpernickel incense actually a pleasant thing to nose?” The easy—and true—answer is: Of course! For one, it adds a new axis to our whisk(e)y hypermap. For two, I love a good corned beef sandwich on rye, even if my gout prevents me from overmuch indulging. Three, it leads with celerity to the celery salt on unsour sauerkraut, followed by black pepper potato chips. The nose is a meal in itself.
On the mouth, really smooth and sweet. The pumpernickel aroma is gone like an early morning fog burnt off by the rising of the sun. (Gone, that is, save for sensing that breakfast is pumpernickel French toast lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and dressed with grade A maple syrup.)
The finish brings more syrup and smiles to our faces. This drinkable, and although it’s odd to say, thankfully not dangerously drinkable. It feels unfiltered (like John) and its got a great texture that makes architectural statements through soft palates and on downwards. Stephen got hummus, but I got only the pleasant humming of The Tennessee Waltz…or was it Tennessee Jed?
–Our thanks to George Dickel Tennessee Whisky for the sample!