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Dad'sHatRye

Dad's Hat Rye distiller available for questions, comments, feedback, etc.

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

I just joined the Forum. I would be happy to answer any questions, or entertain any comments/feedback.

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squire   
squire

Thanks in advance. What proof do you bring it off the still and what proof into the barrel? Is the mash bill 80% unmalted rye and 20% malted barley? Also, any plans to use full size barrels in the future?

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ethangsmith   
ethangsmith

Hello Herman! Glad to see you on here.

I can tell you, Squire, that full size barrels are being filled and have been filled for some time now, in conjunction with their quarter casks. Herman can fill in the details. I have had their PA-only release of straight rye and it is SUPERB.

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squire   
squire

That's good news Ethan, their web page shows what appear to be 15 gallon barrels.

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ethangsmith   
ethangsmith

I am familiar with their operation and have been down to the distillery a few times. They aren't that far away from me- maybe 2 hours. I can say that they are a legit operation. It's only two men right now- Herman and John, so they are VERY busy as the popularity of their product has exploded. I've tried quite a few craft whiskies and I can say without a doubt that Dad's Hat is one of the best. They took the time to research what made PA rye great and set out to be just as good. And I think, thus far, they've done a remarkable job.

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shoshani   
shoshani

Welcome! Good to see you here. Guess it's as good a place as any to be during the hot summer when most distillers shut down production for a month or two. :)

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

Hi Squire,

The proof off the still depends on a few factors - what we are making: if I am making a batch for our White Rye, I am looking for a very clean cut, so I take it off the still just below 160 - if I am making spirit to age I take a fatter cut with a lower temp off the still. For the spirit going into the 15 gallon barrels, it is still a pretty clean cut, so the proof is north of 155. And for spirit going into the 53s, an even fatter cut so a bit lower. The exact temp depends on a couple of factors, including the temperature of the cooling water coming into the site, which changes during the year. I can also play with the water rate to the condenser and the plates in the column to get the amount/quality of flavor that I am looking for. At the end of the day, the decision of how to manage the cuts is made by taking samples and tasting/smelling. The temperatures are an indicator, but I rely on my senses to make the final decision.

Our mash bill is 80% unmalted local rye grain, 15% malted barley, and 5% malted rye. We chose this after doing a lot of research into what was being used in PA during Rye's heyday and after testing recipes at Michigan State. We think that the 20% total malt is an important factor that makes PA rye distinctive - particularly compared to what is made in KY (lots of corn), Canada (no malt) or Indiana (very little malt). "Back in the day" it was not even possible to make a 95% or 100% grain mash - at least 15% or so malt was needed to convert the mash - today it is possible to buy enzymes instead of adding malt.

We have 53 gallon barrels that are approaching 3 years old. We bottled one barrel of Straight Rye late last year for a special release for the PA LCB (we have a few bottles for sale at the distillery). However, we have been holding the rest. We have been tasting them as we go and it looks like we could release a 3+ year old Straight later this year.

Thanks for the good questions

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squire   
squire

Thanks for the prompt reply.

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Spade   
Spade

Thanks for providing the info. The mash bill sounds really interesting. Having grown up in PA, I definitely look forward to trying this when I get a chance. Hopefully it makes its way to GA in the near future.

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shoshani   
shoshani

Our mash bill is 80% unmalted local rye grain' date=' 15% malted barley, and 5% malted rye. We chose this after doing a lot of research into what was being used in PA during Rye's heyday and after testing recipes at Michigan State. We think that the 20% total malt is an important factor that makes PA rye distinctive - particularly compared to what is made in KY (lots of corn), Canada (no malt) or Indiana (very little malt). "Back in the day" it was not even possible to make a 95% or 100% grain mash - at least 15% or so malt was needed to convert the mash - today it is possible to buy enzymes instead of adding malt.[/quote']

That is interesting. When I first tasted Dad's Hat, I remarked on a similarity in profile between it and Sazerac's Col E. H. Taylor Rye, which is also rye and barley but they don't publish proportions. (Sazerac's other rye whiskeys do contain corn in the mashbill, but the label on CEHT makes a point of stating that there is no corn in that one.)

Were you able to get a preserved sample of an existing Pennsylvania rye yeast, or did you start your own culture? (This thread is going to get all the geek questions! :grin:)

Really looking forward to your 3+ year expression if it reaches Illinois. I've a feeling I'll keep both it and the current standard expression on hand.

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squire   
squire

What degree of char do you use in the 53 gallon barrels?

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

The 3+ will be released across all markets over time, so it should end up in IL soon after launch. Thanks for the info on the CEHT, I have to get some to taste side by side.

We are using a commercial yeast that MSU helped us select to meet our recipe goals.

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

Squire,

We use a 3 char for our 53s

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squire   
squire

Sounds tasty DH.

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LCWoody   
LCWoody

As Squire says every post "we're bourbon geeks" (and Rye too) around here, so we appreciate straight forward talk. Looking forward to trying this as it gets some age on it.

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zillah   
zillah

How did the straight rye PLCB sell? Will you be doing another PLCB single barrel for the 3+ year?

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

The Straight Rye for PLCB sold pretty well, but I think we did not promote it enough and the PLCB could have done more, too. I think there are some bottles left to buy via their online store, and we have a few left at the distillery that we sell after tours, etc. They sell well at the distillery once folks get a chance to taste them.

I don't know if we will do another single barrel for the Straight. Maybe one at cask strength? We plan a broader release for the 3+ year Straight - ramping up as more becomes available.

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Harry in WashDC   
Harry in WashDC
As Squire says every post "we're bourbon geeks" (and Rye too) around here, so we appreciate straight forward talk. Looking forward to trying this as it gets some age on it.

As I posted on an other SB thread, even the young rye is pretty good, especially in a particularly fancy hotel bar's Manhattan down here. I had a second one just to be sure I liked it. And there are several stores around WashDC that sell Dad's Hat's offerings so I, too, will be watching for the 3+.

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

Harry in DC, thanks for the support. Stay tuned for the Straight

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jinenjo   
jinenjo
We think that the 20% total malt is an important factor that makes PA rye distinctive...

Thanks for answering questions.

Would PA made Old Overholt be among the straight ryes with no corn and a high malt content? If so, all the way up to the 1970s?

Edited by jinenjo

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squire   
squire

Somebody correct me here (can't recall my sources) but I thought the Old Overholdt mashbill was about 60% rye, 30% corn and 10% malt

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risenc   
risenc

Long time, no post, but let me chime in with a ditto on Dad's Hat. Aside from the whiskey, Herman's good people. I was down there a few weeks ago, and Herman was kind enough to pull a sample from a 53-gallon barrel. It was fantastic -- rich, dark, and amazingly drinkable at barrel proof. And while it won't be for everyone, their vermouth-barrel-finished rye is worth checking out. Personally, I like it a lot.

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flahute   
flahute
Long time, no post, but let me chime in with a ditto on Dad's Hat. Aside from the whiskey, Herman's good people. I was down there a few weeks ago, and Herman was kind enough to pull a sample from a 53-gallon barrel. It was fantastic -- rich, dark, and amazingly drinkable at barrel proof. And while it won't be for everyone, their vermouth-barrel-finished rye is worth checking out. Personally, I like it a lot.

Don't be a stranger Clay, we enjoy your posts.

Thanks for the comments about Dad's Hat. Probably a long shot to see it out here in Washington State, but it sounds like one worth trying.

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

Regarding the questions about Old Overholt mash bills - that is a difficult question to answer. As far as I know, during the mid 20th century Old Overholt was made in a few different places and probably with different mash bills. So I would not try to offer a definitive answer. I will check with a couple of my sources to see if I can get better info.

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Dad'sHatRye   
Dad'sHatRye

Clay, Thanks for the nice comments. It was a pleasure sharing our Straight Rye with you. We are still tasting samples to determine when we will start rolling it out on a broad commercial launch.

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