You may remember a while back when I made some comparisons between the world of competition BBQ and its similarities to the tailgate party. Not long after I published that piece I was contacted about a booth that the folks over at George Dickel had set up at the American Royal, which is the biggest BBQ cook-off in the world. So when I was given the opportunity to sample some of this whisky for myself I was happy to oblige.
Disclaimer: We were provided 2-50ml bottles of George Dickel No. 8 Tennessee Whisky free of charge. The fact these samples were provided without charge in no way influenced our opinion of the product nor did it impact our ability to test and review the product fairly and objectively.
And before we go too far into this I have to mention that George Dickel, like all alcoholic drinks, should and needs to be consumed responsibly.
For my review I decided to take a little detour away from the recipes I was given initially, instead going with something that I thought my wife would like. Furthermore I thought it would be prudent to try the the product by itself, meaning in a glass served “neat.”
For the drink for the wife I knew I had to find something that would fit her palate. So I decided to point my internet browser in the direction of www.dickel.com to see what they had come up with for mixed drinks. One that really stood out to me was one called the “Dickel Southern Belle.” Not only is my wife a southern lady, but the ingredient list seemed to fit her tastes quite well. Check out the recipe:
Dickel Southern Belle
1.5 oz. George Dickel® Tennessee Whisky No. 8
12 oz. pineapple juice
0.5 oz. triple sec
Splash of grenadine
2 oz. orange juice
Combine whisky, triple sec, orange juice and pineapple juice with ice in a tall glass. Top with grenadine. Stir and enjoy.
Before we made that cocktail I would have never thought that whiskey of any sort would have a place in a drink like that, but it worked really well. The other thing that I really like about that drink is that, minus the booze of course, it would be fun for the kiddos.
Now the real test of this particular spirit was the test that I was doing, which was to drink it neat. My experience with various whiskeys has been somewhat of a roller coaster. I’ve had some that were very nice, and others not so much. Well I can say that this was an example of the former. It went down very smooth, and the flavors were quite agreeable, with only a little alcohol burn. As I said before, I’m no expert but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
Previously I mentioned the other recipes that were sent to me, which I didn’t use for this review. The main reason I didn’t use them was just that I had a little trouble finding a couple of the ingredients, but I would happily try them if I do come across pear liqueur or ginger syrup in the future. Based on what I heard they were very well received by the crowd at the American Royal. Here they are if you have those mixers on hand or know where to get them:
1.25 oz. George Dickel No. 8
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
.25 oz. pear liqueur
Pour over crushed ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Dickel Ginger Julep
1.25 oz. of Dickel No. 12
.75 oz. ginger syrup
1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pour over crushed ice in a julep cup, garnish with mint sprig and a dash of Angostura bitters.
I would say that George Dickel No 8 is definitely “Tailgate Approved.” I see versatility as a major benefit in a tailgate setting. If it’s possible to make a fruity drink, some more subtle drinks, and then lastly use the same spirit to drink by itself without mixers means you can possibly save some space rather than pack multiple bottles of different things. Not only is it versatile, the Dickel No 8 seems to be reasonably priced. A quick search shows an approximate price point of just over $20 for a fifth. For more info, and to see the other offerings from George Dickel you can check them out at www.dickel.com.