About Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Classic Rye Whiskey
In March 1791, at the behest of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, President George Washington signed into the law the Whiskey Excise Act. The law levied taxes on spirits distilled within the United States and was the first tax ever levied by the federal government on a domestically-produced product.
Farmers living west of the Appalachian Mountains — the western frontier at the time — were vehemently opposed to the tax. These farmers often operated small stills and distilled the excess grains they harvested from their farms into whiskey, which was easier to transport over the Appalachian Mountains as compared to cumbersome grains. When agents of the Treasury Department were forcibly prevented from collecting the whiskey tax by the farmers turned distillers, George Washington led a federalized militia of nearly 13,000 soldiers into western Pennsylvania in order to suppress the "Whiskey Rebellion." Without firing a shot, the rebellion collapsed, although many Pennsylvanian farmers continued to evade the tax.
"Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskies pay homage to our state's rich tradition of making small-batch whiskey," says Herman Mihalich, master distiller at Mountain Laurel Spirits. Raised in Monessen (a small city situated in southwest Pennsylvania) and armed with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Wharton, Mihalich has spent most of his life in Pennsylvania. "I really wanted to revive that entrepreneurial spirit and rich rye heritage we have here,"he says.
Dad's Hat Rye is made from a mash of 80% rye, 15% malted barley and 5% malted rye. After Mihalich sources all of the grains from local farmers in Pennsylvania, he slowly ferments the mash for approximately seven days before distilling it though a 500-gallon Christian Carl copper-pot still imported from Germany. The still, which is augmented by a side-column, allows Mihalich to remove any impurities in the whiskey, while simultaneously refining its flavor and texture.
After distillation, Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye is aged in charred, white oak quarter casks (15-gallon casks) for just under one year in a temperature-controlled warehouse. The small casks and climate-controlled aging give the whiskey hints of cinnamon, dried fruits, nuts and candied apple, which nicely balance out the flavor of the spicy rye.
After maturing, each cask of Dad's Hat Rye Whiskey is brought to proof and bottled by hand.
Inspired by the old-fashioned fedora hats his father used to purchase in Philadelphia, Mihalich's goal was to recreate the sentiment that these hats represented with Dad's Hat Whiskey: quality, tradition and integrity. Try a quality, traditional rye whiskey today!
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.