Track your collection with unlimited notes and bottle quantities
GET IT NOW:
If you want to add an image with your reviews install the app.
GET IT NOW:
Learn More About Cookies
While i will admit, I don't know what makes a Pennsylvania style rye. Regardless, this is a nice sipping rye. It's an 80/20 rye/barley split which is funny because it tastes like it could be of a blend of 80% MGP rye and 20% Old Forester Rye. The nose has is a mix of sweet vanilla and spicy rye. The pallate starts off of the sweet herbal MGP 95/5 rye bouquet. Then the rye spice and cinnanon takes over finishing with sweet vanilla and cocoa notes.
I picked up a bottle of this on February 29, 2020, a week before I started working from home because of the pandemic, owing to a flash sale where this was $20 off. Given this goes for $54.99, that was quite a deal and really the only way I was ever going to buy an untested local product, and tasting it reminded me of my first time tasting red wine. You see, I didn’t experiment with booze as a teen. While my friends were doing that thing of getting older friends to buy us beer, I was the teetotaler. It wasn’t until I went to Rome on a study abroad program in college that I tried red wine. First night out, my new roommates and this girl we met on the program wandered around looking for a nice little place to eat, and when we found one, they ordered a bottle of the house red. I didn’t want to seem sheltered or uninitiated so when they poured the glasses all around, I decided to partake. “It’s made out of grapes,” I thought, “will probably taste like grape juice. What’s the worst that can happen?” And I took a sip and winced, doing my best not to spit it back in the glass. Definitely didn’t taste like grape juice. It sort of reminded me of that scene in the 90s high school comedy Can’t Hardly Wait where the nerd infiltrates the party, drinks his first beer, and yells out to all the party-goers, “Nobody drink the beer! The beer has gone bad!”
With this, Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Straight Rye Whisky, I had a similar moment where, although I’d been drinking whisky for 17 years by the time I cracked this, it tasted like no rye I’d ever tasted before. By then, of course, I was always willing to expect the unexpected and ride with it. I’d had Sazerac and Overholt and Rittenhouse and Jim Beam Rye, but this tastes nothing like any of those. And unlike those, the sweetness is not the omnipresent note, but rather, what comes forth on the nose out of the glass is….um, rye. Rye spice, dill, yeasty bready aromas, perhaps a little spicy mustard. Honestly, the aroma is like you’ve gone to a good deli and asked them to make you a sandwich on their best rye bread, only, you know, hold everything except for the mustard. There are underlying scents of vanilla and caramel which add some complexity to the nose, but they tend to emerge more if you let the glass sit for a while. If you dive right in, and you’re not prepared for it, and you’re not a rye guy/gal, you’re probably going to complain that no one should drink the whisky, the whisky has gone bad, and given that the reviews here seem a little divided on the quality you’re getting, I’m guess that we have quite a few who gave this a rating who either didn’t know what they were getting into, or didn’t let the glass sit long enough (though I think most of us would argue this is the case with a lot of ratings on this site). There’s also a slight black licorice/early gray note on the nose as well. As for the palate, again, the rye spice is prominent. You get cardamom as well as caramel and that yeasty bready note from the nose transforms into a luscious creaminess here with a spicy red bell pepper flavor ushering the palate out on the finish.
I just bought my second bottle of this last week, over three years after the first time I had it. I’d say that at $54.99 a bottle, it’s a little steep, even though I like it, and the reason I say that is I’ve had the cask strength and that goes for $69.99, so generally speaking I’m going to invest the extra in that simply because I enjoy it more (in fact, I have a bottle in my cabinet for future indulgence). But this was on sale again for $7 off, so I figured I’d dip in just as a point of comparison. Honestly, if this went in the low forties instead of the mid-fifties, I’d buy it a little more often, especially given how unique a rye it is, but it just edges itself out of range by degrees. To my mind, this is an acquired taste, sort of strikes me as an American version of Islay where those in the know will get it and those who want their whiskies basic will give it two stars with a one-word review, “eww!” Well, more power to you. But Dad’s Hat is a brand I keep my eye on, and I’d like to try their bottled-in-bond sometime soon. Again, however, the problem is that the bonded is $65 while the cask strength is $70. Now, if you’re from Dad’s Hat and you’re reading this, I don’t mean that to say you should raise the price of your cask strength. That bottle is priced perfectly. But if you could just drop the price on the straight rye and the BiB, I’d be buying your stuff a lot more regularly. Think about it.
The smell is fresh Rye/Dill/baking spice, menthol/eucalyptus, light vanilla.
The taste is a nice warm spice, very little heat. Pepper, Clove, fresh cut grass, a bit of honey.
The finish is medium to long with menthol/eucalyptus, pepper and baking spice.
I was skeptical of this one because a few other Craft Pennsylvania Rye’s have let me down. I am happy to say that this one is very good and fairly priced. I think I paid around $60 for this which may seem high, but in today’s whiskey world you aren’t going to find a High Rye “Straight Rye” whiskey 3-4 years old for much less. Kudos to Herman Mihalich and John Cooper for creating this Rye. This was my first bottle of Dad’s Hat but certainly won’t be my last. Looking forward to sampling their entire lineup. They have a Port finished Rye that I have to get my hands on….They also have a vermouth finished rye – sounds interesting but I may have to sample that one first.
Overall Grade: B+
Dominant herbal, floral quality in the nose, but more flavor is found upon tasting. You get those notes with the addition of caramel apple with a light honey sweetness flowing into the finish. The oak takes a back seat revealing itself as a light dryness. Better than than the normal black label IMO.