Let’s start off by addressing the basic fact of what no. 8 is: Tennessee whisky. In America we produce a lot of different whiskies, but primarily we are known for the beauty this is bourbon. Tennessee whisky is not bourbon. Basically it’s not bourbon on a technicality, because theoretically it’s the same process and all that jazz, but it’s made in Tennessee, therefore Tennessee whiskey. They also tend to taste a bit different. George Dickel, our producer here, has a number of different whiskies. I believe I had their no. 12 before, and clouded memories told me I liked it; it served me well for making me hung-over as all hell for my college graduation. Clearly my memory of no. 12 could use to be refreshed. Anyways, when I bought no. 8 I was a bit surprised, because this is not what I expected.
You see, I tend to do as little research as possible when writing these reviews. I don’t want to cloud my judgement with things such as “knowledge,” or “facts.” That would be silly. What I like to do is tell you what I taste. What I get from no. 8 is a pleasant caramel and charred oak in my nose. Basically a bourbon. The taste however is where we find a difference. This isn’t anything too hot, nice and mellow—and by the taste I’d say that part of that has something to do with some kind of charcoal tower filtering thing. That’s something that Jack Daniel’s has always boasted of doing, and the thing is, this is a rather similar whiskey. Shit, whisky—Dickel uses that silly spelling. Anyways there isn’t too much more to this whiskey. A bit of sweetness and caramel, a light warmth, and a smooth charcoal taste. I don’t dislike it, it’s still whiskey, I like whiskey—but it’s just not what I look for in whiskey. While George’s no. 8 may not exactly be for me, I think I know exactly who this is great for.
a). A college guy who drinks a lot of Jack Daniel’s and wants to look less Kid Rock?
b). A Jack Daniel’s drinker who is bored with over paying for your charcoal flavored booze?
c). A Jack Daniel’s drinker that wants something that looks better on your bar?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve hopefully realized I’m saying that George Dickel no.8 is, in my honest and uninformed opinion, an alternative to Jack. Interesting, George’s no. 8 is generally cheaper than Jack’s no. 7. It also looks less like the logo you’d see on a t-shirt at a Toby Keith concert. Sadly, there are no pictures of The Rolling Stones drinking Dickel out of the bottle, but in the end I do feel like this is a better drink. Also, I like the bottle better, and it’s cheaper—so what could go wrong? Jack drinkers, give it a shot, maybe you’ll take a step up from no. 7 to no. 8.