Tennessee whiskey is a very unique expression. Composed of a mash bill very similar to bourbon. Tennessee whiskey has an added step that makes it different from its close cousin. The difference being that before barreling the white spirit is filtered through a bed of maple charcoal. Dickel’s procedure is to chill their whiskey and hold it at 40 degrees for a period of time in the maple char. That spirit is then put into new charred white oak barrels and laid to rest. This particular expression was aged for 13 years and is one of the most interesting whiskeys I have had in a long time.
The nose is heavy with dried fruits. Fig, prune, brown sugar and leather. These flavors carry over into the pallet along with sweet tobacco and apple. Chocolate undertones round this out and the finish lingers long with tobacco and leather. All of these combined for an extremely unique whiskey and not what I was expecting. The manage of sweetness danced around in my head and had my mind reeling. It reminded me of a flavor that was so familiar from my past but I could not put my finger on it. I then had my buddy Eleazar try a sip. He had all the same notes as I did but put it all together… “Redman,” he said. My eyebrows shot towards the sky and my mind was set free. “that’s it!” I said. It then took me back to my younger years sitting in my buddies fort, smelling and trying the long leaf tobacco. Even though I never had Redman again, this whiskey helped spark a memory that I thought I had lost forever. Just one more time whiskey has taken me back in time to reminded of an otherwise insignificant yet so youthful time and place from the past.
Make sure you check out Whiskey Advocate’s article on why they chose This expression as their Whiskey of the Year 2019.
And as always, may your rod be bent down and your whiskey straight up.