Cascade Hollow distillery
The Cascade Hollow Distillery is perhaps more commonly known also as the George Dickel distillery. Famously the home of the other Tennessee whisky brand. The distillery that spells its product whisky rather than whiskey.
George Dickel is almost an insider tip outside the USA. Inside, however, the brand ranks second among the most popular Tennessee whiskies, after the world-famous Jack Daniel’s
American Whisky Without an ‘e’
For American standards, the spelling whisky without “e” is a specialty. Allegedly the spelling stems from Georg Dickel’s conviction that his whisky can compete with the best Scotch. Every connoisseur has to decide for himself whether he succeeded in this in any case.
How does George Dickel whiskey taste?
George Dickel is a typical Tennessee whiskey. It is characterized by fine aromas of vanilla, spices, oak and nuts. Flavors of caramel, toffee, and maple syrup are often found in George Dickel whiskies
How is George Dickel produced?
The water for the production of George Dickel whiskey comes from its own spring not far from the distillery and flows through limestone layers. This should give it a special softness. Like many other distilleries in the USA, George Dickel makes no secret of their Mash Bill. The distillery uses 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley.
Although it resembles the “low rye” Mash Bill from Buffalo Trace, the whisky is not called bourbon, but “Tennessee whisky”. Like Jack Daniels, the whisky is filtered through a bed of maple wood after distillation. George Dickel cools the raw spirit or “white dog” before this process, which makes the spirit even softer. This process is called the “Lincoln County Process” or “Charcoal Mellowing”. The method is basically the only difference between Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon, besides being made in Tennessee.
George Dickel used barrels made of fresh American white oak for maturing, just like the bourbon industry. The barrels are heavily charred, so that a thick layer of carbon forms inside the barrels. The appearance has given these methods the name “Alligator Charr”, as the surface is similar to the skin of a crocodile.
George Dickel Classic No. 8
Apple, honey and notes of cinnamon await us with this George Dickel. A young, wild Tennessee whiskey that has long since left the shadow of Jack Daniels.
George Dickel No. 12
One of Jim Murray’s favorites. More complex and balanced than its younger brother No. 8, this Tennessee whisky expands its palate with nuts, baked apples, and buttercream. The 45% ABV ensures sufficient pressure behind the aromas and carries them into a long-lasting finish of maple syrup and delicate smoke.
George Dickel Rye Whiskey
The mash of this rye whiskey consists of 95% rye and 5% gesture malt. The George Dickel Rye is first cooled and then filtered through sugar maple charcoal. The rye flavor makes it a perfect candidate for a Manhattan.
George A. Dickel was born in Germany in 1818 and emigrated to the USA at the age of 26. Until 1853 he lived first as a shoe dealer, then as a successful liquor seller in Nashville. His wish to make whiskey himself was fulfilled from 1870 in Cascade Hollow near Tullahoma. It traded first as George A. Dickel & Company, then from 1877 under the name Cascade Distillery.
The Tennessee Whiskey produced also bore this name: “Cascade Tennessee Whiskey”. After Dickel’s death, the whiskey was named after him. Four years later, his widow transferred the majority stake to Dickel’s business partner and brother-in-law Victor Schwab. The success of the distillery was stopped when Tennessee enacted prohibition in 1910, forcing the Cascade operation to relocate to the Stitzel Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. It was produced here until Kentucky enacted statewide prohibition in 1917. The operation shut down altogether with the onset of nationwide prohibition in 1920.
In 1933, national prohibition was repealed. Four years later, Shwab’s heirs sold all rights to the Dickel and Cascade brands to the Schenley Distilling Company in 1937. Following several failed attempts to acquire Jack Daniels, Schenley built a new distillery in 1958, just one kilometer from Dickel’s old distillery. Dickel Tennessee whiskey was distilled again with the same spring water and the same recipes after a break of more than 40 years.
In 1997, Guinness merged with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo. To accomplish the combination, the company assumed a lot of debt. It quickly had to start selling assets to generate cash and cut costs where possible. By 1999, Diageo had decided that American whiskey was not part of that picture and it sold off all of its American whiskey assets except two brands, I. W. Harper and George Dickel. It also stopped production at the Dickel distillery.
Diageo resumed production at Cascade Hollow distillery in 2003, almost too late to prevent a shortage of Old No. 8 in the market by 2007.
From 2005 to 2015, Cascade Distillery operated under the supervision of master distiller John Lunn. In March 2015, Lunn announced his departure as Master Distiller to take charge of the Popcorn Sutton microdistillery. Nicole Austin took over as Managing Director and Distiller of Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. in March 2018. Before joining the Dickel team, she spent two years in Ireland as a Tullamore Dew commissioning engineer at the grain distillery in Offaly.
Cascade Hollow factsheet
|Name||Pronounced||AKA||Region||Country of Origin|
|Cascade Hollow||George Dickel||Tennessee||USA|
|Status||Active||Whisky Type||Website||Tours Available|
|Active||- Present||Rye, Corn||Cascade Hollow||Tour Link|
|Manager||Distiller||Blender||Owned by||Parent Group|
Can I tour Cascade Hollow?
No, unfortunately Cascade Hollow distillery is not open to the public for tours