Dickel’s well-priced, top-shelf Bottled in Bond release has become an annual affair, now in its fourth edition. For two of the first three years, the BiB bottling has been a 13 year old, as it is once again for 2022. Dickel’s 2020 is the lone outlier, a whiskey distilled in fall 2008 and bottled at 11 years of age. Well, for 2022, here’s the twist: This bottling was also distilled in fall 2008 but has aged for 2 extra years. If you’re lucky enough to still have some of the 2020 on hand (I don’t), you’re in for a fun comparative treat to see the same season’s juice at two different age levels.
With that as prologue, let’s look at this bonded release on its own merits.
Nutty and fruit-forward on the nose, this is an exuberant expression of Dickel that feels almost festive from the start. Gingerbread and brandied cherries provide lovely aromatics, moving into notes of mint and roasted walnuts before allowing a touch of well-charred wood into the mix. The palate’s got all this and more, featuring a stronger spice element — mint plus a bolder ginger element, a hint of licorice, dusky baking chocolate, a finishing note of peanut brittle and — at last — that classic Dickel note of dill. The dill takes its time to show its face, but once it hits you, it sticks around just about forever. Not in a bad way.
Looking at my older review, I see a lot of the same notes as in the 11 year old (and plenty of new ones), but more nuance and more maturity on the whole. There’s also certainly less of a rustic popcorn character here, which the 2020 release saw as prominent, and simply much more excitement from start to finish. All told, another big winner from Dickel.