About Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whiskey
"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. 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.
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 through 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, the whiskey is aged in charred, white oak quarter casks (15-gallon casks) 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.
Dad's Hat Straight Rye is bottled by hand at 95 proof after being aged for at least 4 years. It's the first straight rye to be crafted in Pennsylvania in more than a quarter of a century. The farm-to-bottle spirit is deep and complex with the characteristic rye spice notes balanced by burnt sugar, vanilla, and fruit.
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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.
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