On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, celebrate dad with a bottle of Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey. Founders John Cooper and Herman Mihalich started distilling small-batch rye whiskey, the spirit that once made Pennsylvania world famous, the old-fashioned way: with locally sourced rye grain and fine malt, available ‘white’ or aged in charred white oak casks for uncompromising depth of flavor. Named in honor of Mihalich’s father, a bar owner himself who habitually donned a Philadelphia-made Stetson before stepping out the door each day, Dad’s Hat ryes are a throwback to the days of American ingenuity, when making something from scratch with quality craftsmanship was the cornerstone of our economy – and a fitting tribute to dads everywhere.
“Nothing makes me more proud than to honor my dad: by wearing his hats, and by running my business in a way that I believe would make him proud,” explains Mihalich, who partnered with Cooper, a good friend ever since they were classmates at the University of Pennsylvania, to found Dad’s Hat after three-plus decades working in the corporate world. “That commitment to quality makes Dad’s Hat a perfect gift for Father’s Day.”
Every ingredient, save the malt (which is not available locally), in Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskeys is sourced and crafted in state, making their product as much a representation of Pennsylvania as a fine wine is of its terroir. Dad’s Hat currently offers four products: White Rye, a pure, spicy, clean rye that sees no aging and can be blended into cocktails as a relatively neutral spirit; Rye Whiskey, aged in charred white oak quarter casks and stored in conditions similar to those employed by rye distillers centuries ago, resulting in a very smooth whiskey with up-front spice and a full, round mouthfeel; plus two new products to be introduced shortly: Port Barrel-Aged Rye Whiskey, their classic rye finished with three months in a port wine barrel; and Vermouth Barrel-Aged Rye Whiskey, finished for three months in a Vya Sweet Vermouth™ barrel – the first rye whiskey to be finished in vermouth barrels.
Dad’s Hat has already garnered attention and acclaim: in early 2013, they earned a prestigious Good Food award for their superior taste, craftsmanship and sustainable practices. Most recently, the American Distilling Institute awarded a silver medal to their rye whiskey in the category of “Aged Rye Whiskey” for their annual judging of artisan American spirits. Critics and spirits experts have been quick to praise their product, as well. Wine Enthusiast recently gave their rye whiskey an 89 rating and The March issue of Outside magazine included Dad’s Hat in their round-up of great local spirits from around the country. The Philadelphia Inquirer called Dad’s Hat “artfully blended…a rye that shouldn’t be fussed with in overly complicated cocktails. Just a little ice – and a taste for local liquor history – will do.”
Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskeys are currently available in California, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C – and are working to expand into new geographic markets across the county. In Pennsylvania, it is available at the Dad’s Hat distillery, as well as stocked at the state’s Fine Wine and Spirits Stores.