I notice the good doctor defensively fold his arms over his chest and recoil ever so slightly while I am mid-sentence. Before he can scribble "penicillin" on his prescription pad, I add: " . . . in my throat."
I was going to refer to another region of my anatomy to get a laugh, but he didn't seem to share my sense of humor or anybody else's for that matter. Certainly not Eddie Murphy's. Ever see his stand-up routine captured in Raw? You know, the skit about "fire shoot out of my d---! . . ." No? My doctor didn't either.
"It's like I have a sore throat all the time" I continue. "Or the beginning of the flu where your throat gets sore. And, I am burping a lot." I think for a nanosecond about conjuring up one, but then thought better of it. If only I had downed a can of soda before the consult. Dr. Pepper works every time.
I will spare you the next fifty questions and answers, and give you the diagnosis. "Acid reflux."
I left the doctor's office with instructions to take 150mg of Zantac daily, give up tea, coffee and maybe lay off the alcohol too. It took me two weeks to wean myself off coffee and tea. Head aches and tiredness were the chief withdrawal symptoms. Supposedly, my acid reflux symptoms would lessen. No such luck.
I also stopped drinking any alcohol for like an eternity.
Okay, two weeks.
Like I said, an eternity. Mind you I only have 2 ounces an evening from Friday through Sunday nights. Yeah, two ounces. Strangely, as I get older, I drink less. I am also keenly aware that excessive alcohol consumption can damage one's liver. In any event, my medically directed libation moratorium didn't lessen my symptoms.
At a follow up with the good doctor, he said there is something in coffee and tea that aggravates the condition. Maybe acidity. I dunno, I just start thinking about my golf swing when the medical jargon gets trotted out.
I have this tremendous ability to totally detach from a boring chat, but always nod and make the perfunctory "yes" or "really?" at the ideal pause in conversation such that the speaker thinks I am engaged in what they have to say, like a rottweiler is to a mailman's pant leg. In addition to medical lingo, certain other words or sentence fragments seem to trigger my disconnect when used in conversation:
"I had a great vacation Jason, let me tell you about it!"
"What? You didn't see that movie? It was so funny, especially when . . ."
"You are the wind beneath my wings . . ."
. . .
Fortunately for me, scotch is not carbonated, nor is it acidic. If I keep it in moderation there should be no problem. Apparently there is a 'valve' of sorts in my esophagus and if I become intoxicated it could relax and allow more stomach acid up. Just don't drink enough to relax it and everything is cool or at least Gaviscon minty cool.
Now, I have to tell you I was worried about this review. Think about it. Ever go a long time without a favorite food or beverage and then you have it. It's special, it's glorious or at least that is how you perceive it. Why? Because it has been so damn long. You are so attuned to the flavors that you are overflowing with satisfaction with your chosen food or beverage. This has happened to me. My fear? After two weeks without whisky, if I sipped the dreaded Ballantine's Finest or Drumguish Single Malt, I might think it is great. My judgment would be skewed and you misled for relying on this fool's review.
So, to guard against such worrisome risk, my bottle of George Dickel Rye was subjected to repeated sampling over a couple weeks to ensure you received the most accurate review, and I can look myself in the mirror in the morning.
$24-$25 (New Hampshire)
Light, crisp and dry.
Cloves, grapefruit, charred oak and rye bread.
I taste fresh water, thin orange rind, grapefruit, and lemon seed before the rye notes come to the forefront. The mid-palate is crisp, refreshing and very dry.
Tingling clean mint and lime with some charred oak and balsa wood. Balanced, pleasantly sawdust dry rye and delightfully bitter apricot to the end.
I purchased this whisky in New Hampshire for the grand sum of $24. I had somewhat low expectations given the cheap price. I am impressed! Once again, this whisky dispels the myth that the more you spend, the more you get.
The mashbill is 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Needless to say this whisky is clearly a rye and well done because in spite of the 45% ABV, it is remarkably smooth. The high ABV contributes great intensity of flavors and some subtle complexity.
You could add water, but I find it becomes too oaky for my tastes. Drink it neat!
This is a must buy for any rye whisky lover.
When I bought this, I assumed I was picking up a bottle of Tennessee whisky. George Dickel is a reputable brand of Tennessee whisky distilled by the Cascade Hollow Distillery in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee. If you visit their website you can view the various impressive Tennessee whiskies they offer. But, if you look closely, you will not find any mention of George Dickel Rye. How come?
I have a theory.
I read the bottle label pictured above. It left me with the impression that this rye whisky is Tennessee, but once home I read it more carefully, and I soon learned I was mistaken.
"Our smooth rye whisky is inspired by the the timeless traditions and small batch craftsmanship that make our Tennessee whisky world famous." (emphasis added)
So, the rye whisky is 'inspired' by the Tennessee whisky that bears the George Dickel brand. Inspiration and location of distillation are separate realities. Hence, the failure to reference the rye whisky on the website.
Below the misty eyed prose, that would make any lovesick high school student tear up, in capital letters the label reads: "DISTILLED IN LAWRENCEBURG, IN" and "BOTTLED BY GEORGE DICKEL & CO., NORWALKD, CT."
I thought this rye was bottled in Connecticut. I was wrong. Read carefully and the label states it is bottled by the George Dickel & Co, who are based in Norwalk. I have read elsewhere that it is bottled in Plainfield, Illinois at a facility owned and operated by Diageo.
My initial impression that this rye was Tennessee whisky was also due to a failure to carefully read the side label:
The Bourbon Intelligencer for his observations on this point.
So, I guess what ticks me off is the lack of transparency and what appears to be an attempt to trade on the reputation of Tennessee whisky. This rye is great. There is no need to imply it is something else. I am sure marketing people would tell me otherwise. They are probably right from the perspective of maximizing sales, but wrong in terms of banking on the consumer not being a bloody Philadelphia lawyer when reading the label.
If you surf the web, some people vent about the fact that this whisky is not a true Tennessee whisky. Me, I am not so disappointed that it is not that type of whisky. All I care about are two features:
I am satisfied on both counts. About the only connection between this Indiana rye and the Tennessee whiskies of the Cascade Hollow Distillery is the chilling of the spirit followed by the use of the same sugar maple wood charcoal filtering.
Anyone who is overly bothered by the fact that George Dickel Rye is not technically Tennessee whisky needs to visit a doctor for a check-up from the neck up!