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Whisky Advocate: How Do You Top The Whisky Of The Year? Go Even Bigger

June 12, 2020

When something gets ranked as the best of the best, only the foolhardy—or a genius—would attempt to top it. No one would call Nicole Austin a fool, however. The general manager and distiller at Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., who made 2019 Whisky of the Year George Dickel 13-year-old Bottled in Bond, is following up that sensational release with a new version, this time 11 years old, and she shared all the details with Whisky Advocate. “With the first one, there was no pressure; I was just doing what I love,” Austin says. “I was confident in the whiskey and confident people would like it. It got a lot bigger very quick, and this [year’s batch] was a lot harder.”

George Dickel 11-year-old Bottled in Bond shares many of the same qualities as its older sibling. It was made according to the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, and its mashbill—84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley—and charcoal-filtration process are identical to that of the 13-year-old. Austin went through the same process of fine-tuning the liquid, assessing hundreds of samples blind before narrowing in on a set of barrels from a single distilling season—Fall 2008—and creating a blend. But the pressure of following up such a sensational debut was heavy. Whisky Advocate has more on the latest offering from Dickel.—Susannah Skiver Barton

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