Born early in the 19th century, 40 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence George A. Dickel was an established Nashville merchant when he entered the whisky business. Dickel grew his reputation for selling the smoothest, most mellow spirits in the region. Geo. A. Dickel & Co. was born and when the Cascade Hollow Distillery opened in 1878 when George Dickel bought a large share. George Dickel followed in the Scottish tradition of spelling whisky without an “e.”
George Dickel preferred whisky made in the winter months more than summer months because he felt it made the whisky taste smoother. By 1904, under Augusta Dickel and business partner Victor Schwab, the distillery had prospered. Although Prohibition became federal law in 1919, it was enacted in Tennessee nine years earlier. The distillery was closed, but the then named Cascade Whisky was allowed to be sold as a medicinal spirit through leased equipment at the Stitzel distillery in Kentucky. Twenty-five years after the Repeal of Prohibition, in 1958, a new distillery was opened down the road from the original Cascade Hollow Distillery and it began producing whisky known as Geo. A. Dickel Tennessee Whisky.
In 2019, George Dickel entered the Bottled in Bond category by launching the brand’s Fall 2005 whisky, which earned the coveted “Whisky of the Year” award from Whisky Advocate and was the top-rated American Whiskey of 2019 by Wine Enthusiast.
This is the 4th release of the Bottled in Bond series and was distilled in the Fall of 2008.
What is Bottled in Bond?
Bottled in bond is a label for American-made distilled beverages that have been aged and bottled in accordance with regulation laid out in the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. In order to be labeled as bottled-in-bond the product must be made of one distillation season (January–June or July–December) by one distiller at one distillery. It must have been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 (U.S.) proof (50% alcohol by volume). The bottled product’s label must identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled.
Why was Bottled in Bond Act Created?
At the time of its passage many bottlers used iodine or tobacco to create color and flavor. Consumers wanted reassurances as to what they were consuming, so a standard of quality was created. It was also attached to taxes which allowed distillers to put off paying the excise tax until the bourbon had been fully aged.
Whisky Review: George Dickel Bottled in Bond
ABV: 50% (100 Proof)
Age: 13 Years
Color: Dark Gold
Mash Bill: 84% Corn, 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
Distilled By: Cascade Hollow Distillery
Location: Tullahoma, Tennessee (USA)
The Nose: The corn heavy mash bill shines through in the initial aroma of our pour. After we let it sit for a bit hints of maple, cantaloupe and oak are experienced as well.
The Taste: Notes of charred oak and spice dominate the palate on the first sip. With the high corn mash bill I expected more sweetness at least on the finish, however, it never materialized. Subsequent sips see some hints of cinnamon, apples and honey which appear long after the sip is gone.
The Pairing: We opted to pair this with a cigar called La Gianna from 2GuysCigars.com. This classic maduro cigar offers a nice amount of sweetness and you can read a full review on The Cigar Authority. Using the method of puff first and sip second the whiskey sees more sweetness on the front end with notes of banana, cornbread and honey. As always our cigar pairing never changes our final score but if it did it would be a plus 6.
The Finish: I was ecstatic when I came across this bottle after reading many rave review for the different releases. The first release (Distilling Season – 2005) won the Whiskey Advocates Liquor of the Year. Granted this is the fourth release of this series, but it was pedestrian at best until I fired up a cigar to pair with it. I look forward to trying this with other pairings but as a stand alone it missed the mark for me.