Review: Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye – Vermouth Cask Finish ~ 47% (Mountain Laurel Spirits)
- Category: Pennsylvanian Rye Whiskey
- Origin: Dad’s Hat Distillery
- Bottling: Official
- ABV: 47% ABV
- Cost: £50.95 for 70cl available from Master of Malt
- Score: 77/100
What they say:
A very exciting expression from the Dad’s Hat chaps in Pennsylvania – this rye has been finished in casks which had previously held sweet vermouth! The rye is made to their classic recipe (80% rye, 15% malted barley and 5% malted rye) and aged for at least six months in charred new oak quarter casks. Following this, the whiskey spends a further three months in casks that were home to sweet vermouth. We’ll be rather interested to see how this does in cocktails…
What I say:
Dram #1 at the WOLS Edinburgh Whisky Blog World Tour Tasting! was this rather unusual 100% Rye whiskey that had been finished in sweet Vermouth casks. EWB’s Chris was particularly excited about this expression and picked one up as soon as possible to try it out.
Dark copper gold (10/20), thick/heavy tears
Rubber bouncy balls, liquorice, aniseed balls, mint balls, like walking into an apothecary (or old-fashioned pharmacists), Elastoplast sticking plasters, strong vanilla
Rye/bourbon, brown or cane sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, caramel, toffee, star anise, aniseed, rough cut orange marmalade, cinnamon
Short, vermouth -like, anise
On the nose I was quite apprehensive of the hugely evocative but highly medicinal aroma’s, with plenty of aniseed from the Vermouth finish (not something I’m particularly fond of). The palate however offered much more of a traditional Rye or bourbon-like (to me!) flavours with only hints of herbal anise and vermouth influences. Overall I enjoyed the palate much better than the nose on this one. This seems like it is halfway to a cocktail already rather than a whiskey for drinking straight. I didn’t have any on hand but I net this mixes wonderfully with a little soda water as it needed some dryness to complete it. Definitely a cocktail whiskey!