At $45, George Dickel’s Most Awarded Whisky Is a Steal 

The bad news? The new Bottled in Bond release might be harder to find than usual.

April 30, 2024 3:15 pm
George Dickel Bottled in Bond Spring 2011, Aged 12 Years
The just-released George Dickel Bottled in Bond Spring 2011, Aged 12 Years
Cascade Hollow Distilling

What we’re drinking: George Dickel Bottled in Bond Spring 2011, Aged 12 Years

Where it’s from: Owned by drinks giant Diageo, what we now know as George Dickel was first bottled in 1964, although Dickel himself started in the whisky business in 1870. Most of the brand’s product is produced out of the Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee. This is the fifth Bottled in Bond release overseen by Nicole Austin, the Director of George Dickel & Luxury Whiskey.

Why we’re drinking this: Well, we’re big fans of the prior releases, as is everyone else: the first Bottled in Bond Tennessee whisky release in 2019 won “Whisky of the Year” from Whisky Advocate and the top American Whiskey honor from Wine Enthusiast. (Note: Dickel spells it whisky not whiskey — you’ll notice us use both here depending on whether we’re discussing their Tennessee whisky or whiskey in general.)

And the process hasn’t changed. Bottled in Bond (a designation dating back to 1897) requires that the whiskey not be adulterated by any other substance. It also has to be made at one distillery in one distilling season, aged for a minimum of four years in a government-bonded warehouse and bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV). Also, the mash bill is similar to past releases (84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley), and the price point remains wonderfully affordable. And it’s chill charcoal mellowed like the rest of the George Dickel portfolio. So what’s new? 

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To start, Austin was able to finish both this and the next edition of the series. “There’s usually one season that will emerge as Bottled in Bond caliber, but this year there were two,” she says. “Which is odd, but whiskies are what they are. Unfortunately, the individual volumes ended up being much lower. So it’s going to be harder to find, but this isn’t artificial scarcity.”

Nicole Austin, the Director of George Dickel & Luxury Whiskey
Nicole Austin, the Director of George Dickel & Luxury Whiskey
Cascade Hollow Distilling

Because we’re fortunate enough to have a small sample, let’s test it out.

How it tastes: There’s a lot of fruit and cherry on this one, with macadamia, vanilla and oak spice making welcome appearances. Honestly, this might be the most ideal American whiskey for a Manhattan, though Austin suggests something more interesting.

“You’ll want something strong and stirred,” she says. “And I think this holds up really nicely in drinks that lean more into bitter, like a Toronto. Something where you’re using Fernet or Absinthe and there are bitter herbaceous notes. It can add balance and bring whisky character against really big modifiers.”

Fun fact: Although new to market, this new George Dickel release was already awarded Double Gold at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition with a score of 96.

Where to buy: Starting this May, you can (hopefully) find George Dickel Bottled in Bond Spring 2011, Aged 12 Years in stores for a suggested retail price of $44.99. These tend to sell out quickly.


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