Okay, for our first full themed week in November, let’s do a trio of bourbon reviews. First up, the 2021 release of the George Dickel Bottled in Bond. Since I am such an informed bourbon drinker, I was not aware that George Dickel has a Bottled in Bond release. This has apparently been an annual release since 2019, or three years after my previous George Dickel review–of the 17 yo, which no longer seems to be part of their range. In fact, the No. 12 seems to be history as well—as you may recall this was not actually a 12 yo whiskey. The Bottled in Bond releases do have age statements, however. This 2021 release was distilled in 2008 and is 13 years old. This was their second release in this series that was distilled in 2008. The 2020 release (I think) was an 11 yo also distilled in 2008. Suffice to say, I have not had that or any other of their Bottled in Bond releases. This particular bottle was purchased by a friend of mine from a store whose manager fronted it as a very rare selection—which I don’t think it quite is (though with the bourbon world having gone insane, who knows?). He brought it over one evening a month ago and we put a decent dent in it. I also stole a sample for review at leisure. Here now are my notes from it.
George Dickel 13, 2008, Bottled in Bond, 2021 Release (50%; from a friend’s bottle)
Nose: Caramel, a bit of orange peel, damp concrete and a peppery note; not a whole lot of oak. Sweeter as it sits with some hard candy and that Dickel mineral note emerges as well. Some leafy notes with time and some cherry. A few drops of water and the sweetness gets stickier still (i.e more of the hard candy) and more of the cherry.
Palate: Not as much caramel here and none of the damp concrete but the orange peel and pepper are here as well. A good bite at 50% but decent texture. Gets spicier with each sip with cinnamon and clove joining the pepper. More caramel too with time. Water accentuates the pepper.
Finish: The oak is most apparent here, mostly in the form of menthol coolness at the end; some toffee/butterscotch in there too. With time the sweeter notes hang out longer into the finish and there’s just a bit of dill at the very end. Water pushes the oak spice back a bit and lets the softer notes hang out longer.
Comments: This is a very nice bourbon indeed with a good balance of flavours and no flaws to speak of. It’s not one to contemplate for an hour but they don’t all have to be. I would have been happy if I’d picked up a bottle for myself.
Rating: 86 points.
Thanks to Ben for the pours and the sample!