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George Dickel Battled A Competitive Field To Emerge As Whisky Of The Year

December 3, 2019

Whisky Advocate yesterday announced its Whisky of the Year, making the surprise choice of George Dickel 13-Year-Old Bottled-In-Bond. It’s a remarkable victory for Dickel, which emerged the winner against some of the biggest names in the business.

A combination of quality, value, and what Whisky Advocate calls its “x-factor” for generating excitement in the whisk(e)y space, made Dickel the top choice of the magazine’s tasting panel. “At $36 a bottle for a bottled-in-bond, 13-year-old, this is not only a great whiskey, but also an incredible value,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor & Publisher of Whisky Advocate, who leads the panel.

The choice represents a major coup for Dickel, which for years has labored in the shadow of fellow Tennessee whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s. It’s also a coming-out party of sorts for new master distiller Nicole Austin, who arrived at Dickel’s distillery (recently renamed Cascade Hollow) in 2018 and made the creative move of selecting aged barrels from the warehouse to come up with this label—a gamble that has now paid off.

Having announced the choice of Dickel yesterday, Whisky Advocate today unveils its full Top 20 list. Tonight it will hold its annual WhiskyFest New York, including a grand tasting of top-scoring whiskies from around the world as well as seminars conducted by leading lights in the whisk(e)y community.—David Fleming

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