It’s finally here. It took me thirteen reviews to realize I hadn’t reviewed a rye whiskey yet. So breaking the ice for the ryes is a newcomer on the market, George Dickel Rye. GD Rye was released last year and is another LDI/MGPI sourced whiskey. Midwest Grain Product Ingredients (formally Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana) is a large distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana that supplies whiskey to various brands, mainly craft labels who don’t have distilling capabilities. MGPI has two bourbon mash bills and a famous 95% rye mash bill although they have recently added SIX new recipes to their portfolio. Their 95% rye is used for whiskeys such as Bulleit Rye, Templeton Rye, Redemption Rye, Willett Rye and some High West ryes. So when George Dickel decided to hop on the rye train they looked no further than MGPI’s 95% rye.
Where Dickel Rye differs from the others is that once it’s aged it goes through the traditional Lincoln County Process of charcoal mellowing by being chilled then filtered through sugar-maple charcoal. This, while still sourcing from Indiana, gives GD Rye a unique Tennessee touch. MGPI has gained a lot of respect for their 95% rye mash bill can George Dickel Rye keep it up going?
Appearance: light amber with quick thin legs
Nose: Some nice spices coming off this one like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The usual tamarind note rye whiskeys tend to have is there as well. The rye note surprisingly is not stealing the show but rather meshed in with accompanying sweet notes like maple, caramel and green apples. There is also a green tea like aroma to this and I’m not sure the age but there is also an underlying oakyness to this bouquet.
Palate: Right away I pick up on the maple on the front of the palate along with some beautiful brown sugary goodness. Shift towards mid palate and the rye and cinnamon come in beautifully albeit a little subdued. Unfortunately the mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side but I feel like most 95% ryes are lacking in body. The finish is where this whiskey really shows it stuff. Medium in length but leaving behind vanilla, honey, maple, rye and peppery spice notes for an ending filled with fireworks. There is a little kick to this from the alcohol but it blends nicely with the signature spiciness of rye whiskeys.
Overall: I found this to be a pretty good, not great but also not bad. While some ryes come out storming like Wagner’s ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ this more buzzed along like Korsakov’s ‘Flight of the Bumblebees’. The bouquet was a little calm and I didn’t really get those bold aromas associated with ryes but the palate, while not overly complex or intense, did hold together nicely like a quality whiskey should. Nothing over the top here just a well-balanced whiskey hitting on some nice flavors.
Rating: 84 / * * *S