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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Sipsmith Gin Distillery (Virtual Tour), London UK

For my second “virtual distillery tour” (or VDT#2) I decided to check out Sipsmith because I was, until recently, a Director and shareholder in The London Distillery Company that was also producing Gin so Sipsmwith were the "competition". That is a story for another day and another blog. I really like the 3:31 minute video posted on Youtube and the technology that allowed you to scroll around while the video was running. Very cool and I liked it even more than Hacienda Patron (VDT#1). The content also has a little more for the geeks with an introduction to stills and capacities etc although light on the actual gin process other than a mention of ten botanicals. You also get to meet the Master Distiller Jared which is always nice on Distillery Tour. Unfortunately I don’t have any Sipsmith product to taste, but I do have a cupboard full of TLDC products (the one true benefit of my recent dalliance in Distillery ownership) so I will drink one of those instead. Cheers!

Check out Sipsmith yourself at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aszDOcG_gDI

What is this:  https://www.somanywhiskies.com/item/894-distillery-tours-from-my-couch-1

 

 

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George Dickel, Tennessee, USA

George Dickel, Tennessee, USA

I was lucky to spend my birthday in 2013 visiting the two major distilleries in Tennessee and this was the first one. The thing that immediately struck me about George Dickel was the fantastic setting… perhaps only rivaled by Woodford Reserve for major US distilleries I have seen. The site is also the only distillery that is also a US Post Office… so another first for me and another useless piece of trivia. This site was actually established in 1958 long after the original Mr Dickel and his distillery had perished but all the recipes and techniques had been preserved and are still used today. The original site was a short way up the road and we snapped a picture of the entrance as we drove away later on. The tour I took was free (they offer a tasting tour as well but that was later in the day) and started with a short eight minute DVD in the very nice visitor’s center. Being the “other distillery” in Tennessee has clearly influenced their tour and messaging. When describing their distillery the words “unique in Tennessee” were used a lot which was interesting and basically shorthand for “not like Jack Daniel’s” and included the ‘facts’ that they burned all their charcoal on site, that they double distilled their spirit (which may not be technically accurate as I asked when I toured JD and they said they did double distill) and they chill the whisky before charcoal mellowing. This is said to be because Mr. Dickel considered the whisky to taste better in the winter than the summer. You may also note I spell it as whisky ie no “e”.  This again is a “unique in Tennessee” tradition said to be started by Mr. Dickel who declared (a southern gent always declares in my mind) that his whisky was as good as the finest scotch and so adopted their spelling. I bought two bottles at the distillery shop afterwards, the No 12 and the Barrel Reserve. I also learned that the different expressions are all the same grain recipe (84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malt), the only difference between No 8, No 12 and Barrel Reserve is aging. No 8 is 5 -7 years old, No 12 is 8 – 10 years old and Barrel Reserve is 12 – 14 years old. The Dickel Rye is actually made in Indiana and contains 95% rye (if you are interested). You are? Good. So was I.

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