Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey is a recently released offering out of Pennsylvania. Rye was a major Pennsylvania export prior to Prohibition, when the 18th amendment closed down many of the state’s distilleries. The guys behind Dad’s Hat, John Cooper and Herman Mihalich, want to pay homage to the rye whiskeys of their state’s past. So they’re making rye the old fashioned way, in small batches with locally sourced ingredients.
Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey is aged in charred white oak quarter casks for at least six months. It pours a light amber in the glass, and on the nose it’s full of malt and rye grains. Drink up for some initial warming spice notes that move into citrus and a touch of sour fruit. There are hints of sweet vanilla — not as much as you typically see in oak-aged whiskeys, but that’s not surprising considering its young age. The mouthfeel is full and round, and it finishes with some lingering malty sweetness.
Overall, it’s pretty solid stuff. It drinks young despite the quarter cask aging, which is employed to speed up the oak’s affect on the spirit. But it’s never harsh. And the interplay between spicy grain, malt sweetness and fruit is an interesting one. That said, you can’t help but think that some extra time in barrel might improve this one.
Dad’s Hat currently offers four products: the rye whiskey detailed above; a White Rye that sees no aging; a Port Barrel-Aged Rye Whiskey, which is their classic rye finished in a port barrel for three months; and lastly, the Vermouth Barrel-Aged Rye Whiskey, which is finished for three months in a sweet vermouth barrel. In 2014, Dad’s Hat will debut a Straight Rye Whiskey, which must be aged a minimum of two years. So suffice it so say, these guys are busy pumping out spirits from their home state.
Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskeys are currently available in Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., with distribution expanding soon.
– 45% ABV
I just sampled this while traveling through Philly. Not bad. Drinks a bit young, not too harsh or anything.. just kind of raw. Some extra age would be nice. I’ll look forward to sampling their straight rye in a couple years.