Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels
Rye — Pennsylvania, USA
Reviewed April 22, 2020 (edited December 5, 2022)
I'll start by saying this; I love ryes of all types and I'm a big fan of finished whiskies. I've had a lot of sherry finished American whiskey, but I don't think I've ever had a port finished American whiskey. When I saw this bottle on the shelf there wasn't a lot to think about. I've never had a Dad's Hat rye before, so I can't separate the finish from the base. This is a classic Pennsylvania Rye and the mashbill is 80% rye, 15% barley malt and 5% rye malt. I expect it to have a full flavor. Tasted neat from a glencairn. The pour is a dark rose copper with good sheeting and thick legs on the swirl. The nose is big with notes of cedar, ripe orchard fruits, allspice, fruitcake, and port wine. It's very aromatic and there's a lot there to take in. What's not big in the nose (admittedly this glass rested a good 15 minutes after the pour) is alcohol. This is a very clean dram, tidy and lovely. On the taste buds this is creamy, sweet and just so slightly peppery. The barrel notes are quite distinguishable and the port wine barrel contribution is beautifully present, forming a foundation for the rye's baking spice spectrum of flavors. A viscous wash of dessert flavors presages the mid-palate wood. Then there's just the slightest touch of lemon pith late on the tongue before a slow, gentle dissolve into white pepper and caramel. It's very easy to drink. This is good. I think I like the Belle Meade Cask Strength Sherry Finish a bit more, and I think that is because of its higher proof and bolder cut. At 94 proof, Dad's Hat isn't a lightweight, but its comfy profile makes it feel soft and inviting. Like a 72 Buick LeSabre. Just slow down and enjoy this ride. I definitely like this better than the BM non-cask version, however. The very reasonable price for this bottle makes it an easy one to recommend. It tastes great, has plenty going on for the experienced palate, and remains sweet & creamy for those who are just approaching rye. If you like finished whiskey, or are a Speyside or HIghland fan looking for a tryst with something fresh, Dad's Hat has a lot to offer. This is a very nice after-dinner dram to enjoy with a Rocky Patel.
42.99 USD per Bottle