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- Brand: Dad's Hat
- ABV: 45%
Mountain Laurel Spirits distills their rye whiskey out of the Grundy Mill Distillery in Bristol, PA. All they make is rye, and they call it Dad's Hat (with a classy, old-fashioned fedora on the label). The distiller is Herman Milhalich, who apparently does a pretty wide cut of the spirit, which is then blended by John Cooper after maturation. The mashbill is 80% rye, 15% malt and 5% malted rye, which is the traditional bill for rye whiskey in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of American rye (far predating bourbon production). The spirit is matured in quarter casks for only 8-9 months before being bottled.
The colour is a reddish gold. Quite spirity and youthful on the nose, with green apple skins, fresh cut grass, sawn lumber, mint and molasses. Oaky and spicy. Quite powerful, extremely floral and herbal. A pleasure to nose, but avoid water as it dampens both nose and palate.
On the palate there is cinnamon, peach, cayenne and quite a bit of wood. Juicy. Dried fruits, pipe tobacco and plum pudding, but with a spicy rye kick in the pants.
The finish is long, fruity, and well balanced between spice and oak. A bit too spirity for a Manhattan, this is regardless a rye of exceptional quality. Lew Bryson scored this a 90 and awarded it Craft Whiskey of the Year for the 2015 Whisky Advocate Awards. Challenging but rewarding, this whiskey is a lot of fun to drink. Thank you to my friend Steven Radcliffe for leaving this heel behind after our annual holiday tasting party!