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Who's tried Dad's Hat? What did you think?


humchan2k
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Some good points, of course we don't have to resurrect traditional rye (the recipes have been around since George Washington wrote down his favorite formula), we just have to do a good job of making it.

Edited by squire
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  • 2 weeks later...
Sorry to revive an old thread, but.. I was gifted a bottle of this last night in Philadelphia. Just got back home and I'm trying this right now.

So far, everything about the nose, mouthfeel, taste and finish screams "White Dog."

This stuff is odd to me and, though I may end up enjoying it, I wouldn't recommend it as a rye, per se.

Regardless, it is encouraging to see some new whiskey from my Pennsylvania homeboys.

Cheers!

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I (along with a lot of others I suppose) want these outfits to succeed and produce products that are a genuine alternative to the standard brands. Not to the extent of paying for their experiments though.

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Recently had the opportunity to taste some pre-pro Old Overholt. If that is similar to the flavor profile that traditional Pennsylvania Rye was then Mr. Hat shouldn't spend his creative energies trying to duplicate it.

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ethangsmith

Was down at the distillery yesterday with Dave Ziegler. I told Herman about the conversation on here, so hopefully he stops by and reads it.

As for duplication of Monongahela ryes- You have to keep in mind there are many styles and Herman has taken years to come up with his whiskey's profile and distillation process. I still rank it as one of the best craft whiskeys on the market. And look out for Dad's Hat that's aged in traditional 53 gallon barrels- They've been aging whiskey in that size now for about a year and a half and once the 2 year mark is reached, they will begin the sampling process to determine when they will be ready to dump.

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I wish he would read our posts Ethan, and add some comments of his own. Speaking for myself, and I believe most of the others here, we appreciate a hands on maker joining in the conversation.

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ethangsmith

Yep. That's why I mentioned this site to him. He's been quite busy recently down there, so I don't know if/when he will have some time to read it.

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I am Very curious about this Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye.

It is allegedly one of few old school Pennsylvania ryes from a time when there were many more 'distinct' regional styles.

I believe it is termed Monongahela Rye. Which is allegedly 90+% Rye in the Mashbill.

Could be completely wrong about all this.

Seems very tempting.

But I have only had RR BIB so far which I enjoy. and it retails here for $46 - $50 ish before tax.

One review I read said that they will certainly make amazing rye once the age comes up a bit. I generally take all reviews exceedingly lightly myself.

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I believe the traditional mashbill as developed by the late 1800s contained close to 60% rye. Early Colonists used the grains at hand of course but as the industry grew grains were chosen for specific properties and the truth is rye whisky, while quite flavorful, can be a bit thin if there isn't some corn in the mash to beef up the texture.

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Squire, here's one place I read about the 90%+ Rye. not certain of its sources or reliability though.

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/10/guide-to-rye-whiskey-cocktail-101-basics-what-is-rye-how-is-it-made-brands.html

"Originally, Pennsylvania-style rye, also known as Monongahela-style, was a full-on rye bomb of a whiskey, 100% rye. It was a blend of malted and unmalted rye, with no corn or barley. The malted rye served the same role that malting provides in making Scotch; malting prodded along the fermentation process by providing the enzymes that open up the grain kernels and convert starches to sugars.

By the end of the 19th century, though, Pennsylvania distillers moved from malted rye to malted barley in their mash bills. Anywhere from 80–95% was unmalted rye, with malted barley as the remainder. Still no corn."

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Even if that 90%+ bill is phony, it sounds incredibly tempting. I would love to try a 100% rye whiskey aged to at least 4 years in new charred white oak.

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that article goes on to say about the Dad's Hat Mash bill:

"Dad's Hat has a mash bill of 80% rye, 15% malted barley, and 5% malted rye. It's aged in small barrels (so-called quarter casks) for six months. The company is also reportedly working on a straight rye that will be aged in standard barrels for at least two years."

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As an historical reference I think Washington's mash bill (developed by his Scottish born distiller) is typical of the times. There are some early books on distilling (Samuel McHarry pub. 1809, M.L. Byrn pub. 1830) yet before we get into what might be called 'historically accurate' formulas we should be mindful that for the first two hundred years from Colonial times forward whisky wasn't aged prior to sale. Aging whisky in charred barrels was developed as a common practice along with the development of the column still in the 1830-1840s. Current Master Distillers have stated in recent interviews that the barrel contributes between 60 -80% of the flavor in whisky with the balance made up by the mash bill and yeast. An even more striking difference in flavor is determined by warehouse location.

I understand the marketing aspects of a distiller claiming to return to a whisky formula as it was made in olden times but that presupposes there was some standard (100% malted rye for example, or 80/20 rye and barley) when in fact there was no such standard. Successful distillers were a practical bunch who developed their own mash bills, yeast culture and production techniques and used what worked most profitably.

Fanciful stories might sell the first bottle but only by making a good product will you sell the second.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great info for a new person learning squire, as always much appreciated. Love the percentages master distillers say make up final flavor, not surprising this early in my new obsession as i predominantly taste charred oak and all the sweet caramel burnt flavors. Still working on nosing all the intricacies out of a dram.

That said I will try this just to support a local Pa group. There are a few available here with interesting finishing barrels, and I totally respect what seems like their gameplan of providing things until they have an aged rye. Time is money and we rarely appreciate decades in preplanning the market, but I think these guys are going to be big if time allows them to stay afloat to get later aged stuff out. They have money in aging right now, and I assume they ned to make money somehow to pay back investors in their venture. They cant all be heaven hills with decades of stock already covered financially with current selling items in the market. Little fish in a big corporate sea.

Edited by jmj_203
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  • 2 weeks later...
Fanciful stories might sell the first bottle but only by making a good product will you sell the second.

Preach it, Brother Squire. This should be required reading for all producers.

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