Dad’s Hat Rye in PA

Dad’s Hat Rye in PA

One of the whiskey distilleries that deserves a closer look in Pennsylvania is Mountain Laurel Spirits, makers of Dad’s Hat Rye.  While so many whiskey distilleries began to introduce spirits other than whiskey to the market, Mountain Laurel Spirits only ever intended to produce rye whiskey.  Every ounce of spirit they create with their German-made pot still goes into barrels to become Dad’s Hat Rye. Dad’s Hat Rye was the brainchild of Herman Mihalich, who grew up immersed in and around his family’s bar in Monessen, Pa.  He studied Chemical Engineering at UPenn, where he would meet most of the partners he would incorporate into Mountain Laurel Spirits.  He gained experience in the workplace after school in pharmaceuticals, flavor and fragrance, but would return...

Which Rye Whiskey Should I Try?

Which Rye Whiskey Should I Try?

What ryes are out there and how are they different? I know I’ve talked about this in the past, but I got into a conversation with some folks yesterday about what ryes they should be trying. Many distilleries steer clear of making their own rye because of the production difficulties that rye grain can pose. Rye can be notoriously difficult to work with. Bruce Joseph, head distiller at Anchor Distilling, said, “Rye is a sticky, viscous, mess-a brewer’s nightmare.” It may be a bear to distill, but it makes a delicious whiskey and is only continuing to grow in popularity in the U.S. The original American ryes had high rye mashbills. Farmers in Pennsylvania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were making their surplus harvested grains into whiskey. Though the...