I, by nature, am a bit of a hermit. I like my desk. I like my office chair. I like sitting in my office. Which is a good thing since I now work from home and spend a lot of time in that spot. Luckily for my ever expanding waistline, my wife is pretty good at getting me to leave my office.
But every once in a while she needs to travel for work. When that happens, I get to indulge my tendency to be alone in my office for every waking moment. Knowing that I can work for 12-15 hours at a time if I don’t have anything to distract me, she feels a little guilty leaving me alone for multiple days. To make it up to me, a bottle of whiskey will often find it’s way into her luggage on the way home. Which is how I ended up with a bottle of Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey Finished in Vermouth Barrels.
Since this one is not available here in Minnesota, I’d love to spin you a yarn about how I went searching for this whiskey all over the country and finally, finally found it tucked away in the corner of an old mom and pop liquor store in the backwoods of a sparsely populated state. I’d love to do that, but it isn’t true. My wife walked into the Party Source back in June and bought it. That’s all there is to the story.
But why did I ask her to pick up this particular bottle of whiskey to bring home? Well, I seemed to remember that people I think highly of said nice things about it when it was released. I love Manhattans so the idea of vermouth and rye whiskey was appealing. And even if it wasn’t good, I figured it might well be interesting. Plus I felt like it would be a good one to share. I know a guy locally who has a thing for young rye.
But here’s the thing, when I got the bottle i noticed it was 9 months old. All of a sudden I went from excited to try it to wondering what I would be doing with the rest of the bottle. I mean, I find Willet’s two year old rye to be too young. Immediately upon opening it, I poured some to share.
A little later I got a tweet back from him. “Dad's Hat Vermouth Finished Rye? Not my favorite thing.” Not having tried it myself yet I asked if it tasted like a 9 month old whiskey. His answer?
“It tasted young but not that young. And I thought it had a hint of vermouth from a 10 yr old bottle lost in the back of a cabinet”
Now I was actually more intrigued than scared.
Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey Finished in Vermouth Barrels
Purchase Info: $41.99, 750 mL. The Party Source, Bellevue, KY.
Details: 47% ABV. Aged 6 months. Finished for an additional 3 months in Vya sweet vermouth barrels.
Nose: This is an odd nose. Very grain forward (as to be expected from a nine month old whiskey). Under that is black tea, caramel and hints of cardamom and celery seed.
Mouth: Showing it’s youth it has the raw spiciness of a very young rye along with a lot of grassy mint. Hints of the vermouth barrel finish play along the sides of my tongue.
Finish: Warm but fairly short. The vinous vermouth flavor really shows here. Hints of cinnamon and cardamom reappear.
Thoughts: Not being a fan of really young ryes, this is not quite to my palate. That said, it feels like it was a nicely crafted rye before the barrel finishing and I hope they have some stuck away in big barrels for the future. (I see they have a two year old distillery only release.) As it stands, I probably can’t recommend it unless you are a big fan of really young ryes and even then would suggest trying it in a bar before dropping $40 on a bottle.