George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish Whisky Review Header

George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish Whisky* Review

In Flavored Whiskey Reviews by Thomas Fondano6 Comments

Best enjoyed as a shot with celery salt on the rim, pickle juice, or an ice chaser. Damn straight, it’s Hot Dickel!George Dickel (drunk)
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George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish Whisky*

  • DISTILLER: Cascade Hollow Distillery
  • MASH BILL: Tennessee whisky (the standard Dickel mash bill is 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley) blended with aged Tabasco pepper mash and the Essence of Tabasco brand pepper sauce
  • AGE: NAS – No Age Statement
  • YEAR: 2018
  • PROOF: 70 (35% ABV)
  • MSRP: $24.95
NOSE: Vinegar | Peppers | Hot Sauce (surprise!) | Sugar

TASTE: Children’s Fruit Flavored Cough Syrup | Hot Sauce

FINISH: A short to medium finish with restrained heat and maybe a hint of whiskey? The finish builds and lengthens the more you drink.

SHARE WITH: Folks who say “we should do shots.”

WORTH THE PRICE: No. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said “worth the pride.” Also, no

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar if you must, preferably one you never plan to return to.

OVERALL: If you’re looking for a rich, complex whiskey to sip from your Glencairn, this is not it. If you approach this as the novelty product it is, you’ll be less disappointed. It’s made for shots and the Dickel website says so: “Best enjoyed as a shot with celery salt on the rim, pickle juice, or an ice chaser.” (I’m not sure what an ice chaser is either.)

You may have noticed the * next to “Whiskey” at the top of this review. Technically this isn’t a whiskey because of the addition “aged Tabasco pepper mash and the Essence of Tabasco brand pepper sauce”. I can understand why the flavor wizards at Dickel or Diageo thought this was a good concept. Tabasco is aged in used oak barrels which are stripped of all the char, so let’s put some whiskey back in those barrels. If the result of that was good enough, it would be the product, but they had to add the other stuff, so this is more a liqueur.

New Dickel Distiller Nicole Austin has written that this product –developed without her– is “not 100% in line with [her] vision for Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.” That’s good to hear. I’ve had some good Dickel-sourced whiskeys that I would love to enjoy more regularly.

I cannot say in good faith that you should buy this. However, if you should be stuck with a bottle…

Hot Dickel Tickle

  • 2 parts George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part triple sec or orange cuaraçao (I used Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
  • 1 dash Tabasco per serving

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, strain, consume.

I say parts here because you could scale this from a shot to round of shots or a cocktail. For a shot, 1 part = ½ oz. Good luck and don’t think about tomorrow’s hangover.

Learn more about Thomas’ whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

For over a century, the legacy of two Southern brands, George Dickel and McIlhenny Company’s TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce, have left their mark on the world and their distinct tastes in the memories of people everywhere. These two iconic brands have come together in one bottle to create George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish, or Hot Dickel for short.

George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish stands out by bringing a deliciously spicy kick, made by hand and finished in barrels used to age tabasco peppers for three years.

Best enjoyed as a shot with celery salt on the rim, pickle juice, or an ice chaser. Damn straight, it’s Hot Dickel!

PROOF: 70 (35% ABV)

PROCESS: We rest George Dickel for 30 days in ex-TABASCO® barrels that still contain some residual aged TABASCO® pepper mash, allowing spice & flavor imparted on the wood to finish our whisky. We then take TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce and distill it to create an essence, which we then carefully blend together to create George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish. The result is a deliciously smooth whisky with a spicy finish.

Disclaimer: George Dickel provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author
Thomas Fondano

Thomas Fondano

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Thomas Fondano has been drinking bourbon and trying every bottling he can get his hands on since last century. While he enjoys all types of whiskeys, bourbon remains his go-to whenever he says, “I need a drink.” He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon where he makes cocktails every day at 5pm.


  1. Curt McAdams

    Jefferson did something similar, but i’m hoping to get a bottle of that, as I think it’s more bourbon-y, or hoping. They said they’re not sure how to market it, but I just want it as a hot sauce ingredient, not a drinker.

  2. Wonder if you could make a decent “Bloody Dickle Mary” with this stuff??

    1. Thomas Fondano

      You certainly could, but I don’t think it would be very good. It would likely get lost in the mix, which might not be the worst thing for it.
      It seems the natural first instinct is Bloody Mary whenever peppery booze shows up, but to me that feels like adding artificial Blood Mary flavoring. I opted for more of a sour above to try to balance the spice with acidity and sweetness.

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