By Debbie Shocair
After winning an award for Whisky Advocate’s Craft Whiskey of the Year 2015 as well as being named one of the Top 100 spirits, Dad’s Hat whiskey continues to deliver excellence in its new release of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whiskey.
Herman Mihalich, founder of Dad’s Hat, named the company in honor of his father, whose habit of carefully selecting a hat to suit the day left memories with Mihalich of times “from an era when taking the time to do it the right way mattered.” He approached the art of making whiskey with the same optimistic and careful spirit, even continuing to don the same hats his father did, remarking, “I kept those hats. I still wear them. And you know what? They fit… Perfectly.”
Dad’s Hat made the first straight rye to come out of Pennsylvania in over 25 years, made in the local style and featuring a grain bill of 80% rye grain, 15% malted barley and 5% malted rye. Even their bottles and labels come from Pennsylvania. Such is the charm of a company that holds the classic fedora as its badge of honor. This new batch raises the age on their straight rye from two to three years.
On the nose, this straight rye was initially redolent with sweet marshmallow candy. Think Circus Peanuts (google them), caramel, lemon, and low notes of cinnamon. Breaking it with a ½ teaspoon of water brought the citrus notes right to the front, though it was then more like candied orange.
The mouth feel on this beefy rye, bottled at 95 proof, was entirely at the front of the tongue, but not nearly as spicy as I expected. The finish, however, was pleasantly spicy and balanced: pepper, cinnamon, and wood, followed by a soft sense of vanilla cream. It was a long, protracted finish, leaving a creamy sense in the mouth, and even several minutes later the sensual vanilla cream lingered.
Yep. I just called it sensual. This is a rye for whiskey lovers. And lovers of whiskey. It’s complex, bold and confident, but gentle. I highly recommend it.
Dad’s Hat Straight Rye 3 Year Old is a limited release, and where you can find it, it will run about $65.