Mountain Laurel Spirits accomplished what was previously considered impossible: Putting rye whiskey production back in the Keystone State with the introduction of its Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey last year. Now thanks in part to Pennsylvania House Bill 242, the whiskey makers are again working beyond the realms of possibility. They are selling their stock in trade directly to consumers at their distillery located in the Grundy Commons in Bristol, Bucks County. Recent changes to the liquor code, which were signed into law earlier this year, allows Pennsylvania distilleries — all four of them — to offer tastings and sales of its booze on-site. Mountain Laurel Spirits co-founder John Cooper tells Grub that the distillery’s rollout of a limited edition, single barrel rye is currently being sold exclusively at the distillery.
It joins Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye, and White Rye (both available at state liquor stores) on the shelves at Mountain Laurel’s HQ. The single barrel, which retails for $65, was chosen from the scores of charred oak barrels where the whiskey rests until it’s ready for consumption. Like the first single barrel bottling rolled out in September, as well as those that will follow, the batch was chosen for its “unique and strength in flavors,” Cooper told us. He added that this particular barrel exhibits a bold spice quality that’s backed by dry fruit notes, and caramel and vanilla flavors derived from oak aging. The fact that it’s bottled at full “barrel strength” means its a staggering 120 proof. And since it comes from a half-cask, only 65 bottles will be available. They feature the Dad’s Hat label with transposed colors, and have the barrel number and the date it was bottled hand-written on it. If you miss this one, don’t worry. Copper tells us another single barrel will be bottled in November that’s spicier, and "uniformly different" than the current one.