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George Dickel 12 vs George Dickel Barrel Select: Which is Better?

Discover the differences between George Dickel 12 vs George Dickel Barrel Select in this in-depth comparison and decide which Whiskey is better for You!

George Dickel No. 12

NoseCorn, vanilla, banana, ethanol
PalateBrown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, pie crust
FinishCaramel, oak spice, toasted oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toGeorge Dickel 8, Buffalo Trace

George Dickel is not a bourbon but a Tennessee Whiskey as it was filtered through charcoal before bottling making it similar and a great alternative to the Jack Daniel’s.

The No. 12 smells sweet, with a high corn note up-front, followed by fried banana and just a bit of ethanol coming behind.

On the palate this whiskey is warm up-front but nothing terrible as it makes way for a sweet taste, strong in vanilla and oak spice notes.

The finish is long, fairly warm, with caramel a bitter note of oak spice and toasted oak.

This whiskey is moderately warm but it does not taste like rocket fuel, is the kind of warmth that sits well as George Dickel is easy to drink.

This is a nice, sweet pour, full of character, well rounded, with a pleasant vanilla note that balances out the barrel spice.

There is also a bit of Flinstones Vitamins flavor in this whiskey which I do not consider a deal-breaker, particularly on a whiskey at this price.

George Dickel offers solid value for the money making a good option when drinking on a budget and for those who like to enjoy a kick out of their drinks.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the George Dickel 12:

  • George Dickel uses a mash bill comprised of 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% barley.
  • George Dickel is a whiskey with no age statement, the number 12 does not refer to the years of aging. It is typically aged for 5 years.
  • Gold medal at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • This brand is currently owned by Diageo, a British spirits giant who owns Johnnie Walker and 200 other brands.

George Dickel Barrel Select

NoseCorn, fried banana, oak
PalateVanilla, buttered popcorn, roasted peanuts
FinishLong, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toJack Daniel’s Barrel Select

The Barrel Select uses the same mash as the regular George Dickel but is comprised of a hand-picked selection of 10 barrels per batch aged between 10 and 12 years.

This provides a richer oak note to the pour, but most importantly, it takes away some of the rough edges making it easier to sip.

Nose is just as sweet as as in the No. 12 with the same fried banana note but shows more oak.

Palate is smooth and sweet, slightly spicy up-front, with wood, vanilla, cherries and a buttered popcorn note.

Finish is medium to long with lingering oak spice, sweet corn and a bit salty. It has little burn making a light and easy sipper.

For a moderately priced whiskey this is a solid option. There is some spice and warmth in the pour but nothing terrible or off-putting.

George Dickel Barrel Select drinks nicely neat or rocks if you are into chilled drinks. Adding a dash of water will tune down the spice a bit and make it even easier to drink.

There is one fact worth knowing about the Barrel Select:

  • George Dickel uses barrels charred with a #2 char on the heads and a #4 char on the staves; 4 is the maximum level of char.

George Dickel 12 vs Barrel Select: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

George Dickel 12$20
George DIckel Barrel Select$44

George Dickel 12 vs Barrel Select: Which is better?

Barrel Select is a vast improvement worth the surcharge

WhiskeyGeorge DickelBarrel Select
  • Barrel Select is an improvement over the No. 12, this is a polished iteration, less burny and easier to drink making a good sipping whiskey.
  • Barrel Select is aged between 10 and 12 years, explaining the rich oak spice. If you find it troubling add a few drops of water and that will tune the spice down and make this pour easier to enjoy.
  • If you are in the market for a whiskey to make homemade cocktails then the No. 12 makes a better options as its warmth will add a kick to your favorite cocktail.

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