George Dickel is a brand of Tennessee whiskey owned by Diageo, made in Tullahoma, Tennessee, but shipped out of state for bottling. George Dickel undergoes the Lincoln County Process (being dripped through maple charcoal), but they are unique in chill-filtering the whiskey before filtering, a step that removes fats and oils, resulting in a lighter, smoother flavor.
George Dickel was born in 1818, and like many people in the liquor business at the time, opened a retail store in the 1850's in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1867, he and his wife moved to Tullahoma and opened the Cascade distillery there. Distilling began, and the first release of Cascade Tennessee Whiskey was in 1870.
After George's death in 1894 due to lingering injuries he sustained in a fall from a horse in 1888, he willed the distillery to his wife Augusta, who moved the distillery to Kentucky when Tennessee enacted Prohibition legislation in 1910. She ran the distillery until her death in 1916, three years before national Prohibition shut down most distilleries.
After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the Dickel brand lay dormant for nearly thirty years. The brand was sold by V.E. Schwab's (Dickel's business partner) family in 1937 to Schenley Distilling. Their distiller, Ralph Dupps, reconstructed the distillery and the original recipe for Dickel's whiskey, and production started up in 1958, with the first bottling in 1964. The Tennessee bottling line was shut down in the 1980's.
In the 1990's, overproduction led to a glut of George Dickel on the market. As a result, the Cascade distillery was shut down for a period of time to let stocks return to a more normal level. This shutdown let to interruptions in the supply chain, and scarcity of George Dickel on store shelves, though this has mostly rectified itself. Today, the Master Distiller is John Lunn.
George Dickel makes four whiskies: an inexpensive Cascade Hollow (with a red label), No. 8 (black label), Superior No. 12 (ivory label), and a Barrel Select, in a squat bottle with a smaller, old fashioned label.
Some popular cocktails containing George Dickel
- Queen City — Rye, Aromatized wine, Bitters, Amaro, Grapefruit peel
- Trainspotter — Rye, Elderflower liqueur, Cherry Liqueur, Fernet Branca, Grapefruit peel
- Oaxacan in Memphis — Tennessee whiskey, Mezcal, Licor 43, Amaro, Honey syrup, Thyme tincture, Rosemary
- Cooper's Regard — Rye, Manzanilla sherry, Cherry Liqueur, Falernum, Celery bitters, Lemon peel
- Windsor Knot — Cognac, Rye, Cynar, Dry vermouth, Bénédictine, Orange peel