This Spicy Whiskey Is Aged in Tabasco Pepper Barrels

A Tennessee whiskey and a Louisiana hot sauce walk into a bar…

By Ethan L. Johns
May 11, 2018

Image: Diageo

From Fireball to beer brewed with pepper spray, spicy beverages are so... hot... right now.

In a new mashup unveiled on Friday, the spice trend butts up against another trend—quirky barrel aging—to create a Tennessee whiskey with a bit of Louisiana fire. George Dickel Tabasco Brand Barrel Finish is a new whiskey collaboration between the hot sauce-slinging McIlhenny Company and the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky brand (which uses the Scottish spelling and drops the “e”).

You may call it “Hot Dickel.”

The process for making the Hot Dickel whiskey is as follows: George Dickel whiskey is rested for 30 days inside Tabasco pepper barrels—barrels that held aging peppers for a total of three years. After the residual spice from the wood mingles with the brown spirit, a distillation of Tabasco hot sauce is added for extra heat. The resulting whiskey won a gold medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The brand offered some recommendations for drinking Hot Dickel‚ namely that it be consumed as a shot with celery salt on the rim. The Hot Dickel can also be chased with a shot of pickle juice (which we shall call a Hot Dickel N’ Pickle) or with an ice cube (which doesn’t lend itself to nicknames nearly as well).

“Both [George Dickel and Tabasco] have such a rich history, and we're proud to collaborate with our friends at McIlhenny Company to marry their unique flavor with our quality Tennessee whisky,” said Jeff Parrott, Diageo’s director of American whiskey development, in a statement.

The Hot Dickel whiskey will be available this month nationwide for a suggested retail price of $24.99 for 750 milliliters. The spirit clocks in at 35 percent alcohol by volume, and is also available in 50 milliliter and 1 liter bottles.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns