Few posts on this blog have attracted as much interest and comment as this one from December, 2007.
It was all about the disappearance of George Dickel No. 8 (the black label) from stores across the country, but especially in the South. Diageo, the brand's owner, admitted there was a shortage due to a four-year shutdown at the distillery.
Supplies were supposed to resume in 2008 and did in a few markets, but many fans of the product are still looking for it in vain.
No. 8 has long been the brand's best seller. The more expensive No. 12 and Barrel Select have not been affected by the shortage. Since the shortage began, Dickel has introduced a new product, called George Dickel Cascade Hollow Recipe, that is a three-year old whiskey. It originally had a black label suspiciously like No. 8, which was changed to red when No. 8 began to reappear.
I will keep you in suspense no longer. The official word is that they only have enough whiskey to fully support No. 8 in its eight core markets, which are Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. This is the official answer Dickel is sending out in response to consumer inquiries.
When will No. 8 distribution widen? No one knows. Not having enough product to meet demand is a high class problem for any manufacturer. That whiskey has to age for several years makes production planning a nightmare. Presumably, Dickel has more whiskey in the pipeline each year, but if demand continues to outstrip supply it could be a long time before George Dickel No. 8 Brand Tennessee Whiskey reappears at a store near you.