This distillery was started in Tennessee in 1870 by its namesake: merchant-turned-whiskey-maker George Dickel. In the early years, Dickel declared his whiskey was of the same quality as the finest scotches. He adopted the Scottish practice of spelling whiskey without an E ("whisky"). This spelling is still used on Dickel's labels.
Part of the quality of the "whisky" is said to come from the pure waters of the local Cascade Springs, which are still used by the distillers. Tours of the distillery are offered daily. Visitors can see the original building used by Dickel in 1870, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.