TPP welcomes guest contributor MARCUS CRAPULARIUS, noted whiskey expert, who will keep the "spirits" flowing with trenchant commentary on the 'water of life.'
George Dickel is the other name in Tennessee Whiskey. Bourbon is not just a drink, it is a legal definition. In order to call something bourbon, it must be made in America. It must be made from a grain bill that is at least 51% corn (maize). And it must be aged in charred oak barrels. New barrels--use them once and once only. Then send them off to Scotland. Now, Tennessee Whiskey is a variant of American whiskey with its own distinctive character (and legal definition), that of "charcoal mellowing." Turns out sugar maple charcoal is the peculiar choice of this tipple. This "run" through the charcoal takes place after distillation, that is, the "white dog" (new spirit) is filtered before racking into barrels. I must admit that there are very few whiskeys (or whiskies) I find unpalatable, and Jack Daniels is one of them. Jack Daniels is the OTHER Tennessee Whiskey. It is NOT a bourbon, though far too many bartenders substitute it for bourbon and far too many drinkers and writers refer to it as bourbon. I find it too sweet and too perfumey. But JD is the 800-pound gorilla of the spirits world, and it crowds the shelf for poor George. But George is the real deal, folks. They are a small player (even though they are in Diageo's stable) but they deserve a spot on your shelf. We savored the "Barrel Select" yesterday on the deck at Fadeaway Bluff, magnificent Mt. Shasta looming to the east, casting a reflection on the waters of Lake Shastina. Dickel is made in Cascade Hollow, near Tullahoma, in Tennessee. Being in the shadow of the Cascades myself, knocking back some George D seemed the right thing to do. It is a smooth and richly sweet drink, with lots of vanilla and butterscotch notes, but not cloying or flowery. A man's drink! But ladies like it, too. (N.B. Dickel folks use the Scottish/Canadian spelling, "whisky" rather than the American/Irish preference, "whiskey.")
We survived the Ides of July, my friends, despite the forests burning all around us. M. Crap. will return before the Kalends.
a.d. XVII Kal. Aug.
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