Hard Truth Distilling Co. is located in Nashville, not Tennessee but 260 miles north in Brown County, Indiana. They’ve been distilling since 2015. They started out on used brewing equipment to prove the concept and oh my have they come a long way. A business that originally began in 2009 as a brewpub in a back alley in Nashville has turned into a thriving 325-acre tourism destination, restaurant, entertainment venue and distillery in the middle of Indiana.
Hard Truth’s first major whiskey release was a Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey with a mash bill of 94% rye, 6% malted barley, and zero corn. It was bottled uncut, unfiltered at barrel strength. After winning many awards for their first rye release they are following up with a new Hard Truth High Road Sweet Mash Rye – a new sweet mash rye whiskey expression developed for a wider range of rye whiskey fans to experience the flavor, nuances and subtleties of the sweet mash rye distilling process. This new release introduces corn into the mix with a mash bill of 55% rye, 36% corn, 9% malted barley.
What is Sweet Mash?
Sweet Mash is a process in which each batch of whiskey begins with entirely fresh ingredients of water, grains and yeast. The yin to this yang is Sour Mash. The Sour Mash process takes a little bit of left over mash, also called backset, from a previous batch to kick start the next batch.
Hard Truth’s Master Distiller Bryan Smith said they developed this new release based on overwhelmingly positive response to Hard Truth’s rapidly growing line of sweet mash rye whiskies.
“Our internal evaluation panel results along with taste-testing in twenty-plus markets confirmed that this is one of the most delicious, sweet mash rye whiskies we’ve ever produced,” said Smith. “Not coincidentally this will be our first year-round sweet mash rye whiskey with corn in the mash bill.”
Hard Truth High Road Sweet Mash Rye Tasting Notes
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High Road features a deep copper appearance, with an aroma of apricot jam, honey, baking spice and graham cracker. Its taste offers up rich vanilla, maple, custard, and spices that coat the tongue. Its finish is bold with a lingering caramel that fades to honey, coffee and nougat.
“We’re proud that Hard Truth is at the forefront of what we believe is a sweet mash rye revolution,” said Smith. “Sweet mashing – a process in which each batch of whiskey begins with entirely fresh ingredients – typically results in whiskeys that are softer and have a more complex palate. And even though the process is more labor intensive, meticulous and costly than sour mashing, we believe the result is a rye whiskey that is both distinctive and delicious.”
High Road was distilled with the same skill, innovation and passion of its sweet mash predecessor, Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye introduced in 2020. “Since the day we opened the doors at Hard Truth, we have been working to develop a versatile multi-occasion sweet mash rye whiskey that is perfect on its own, on the rocks or in your favorite whiskey cocktail,” said Smith. “We’re confident that High Road is that whiskey.”
Hard Truth High Road Sweet Mash Rye is bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV). It is available now in 750 mL bottles with a suggested retail price of $39.99.
Hard Truth Distilling Co. produces more than 20 premium spirits, including critically acclaimed Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey and top-selling Hard Truth Cinnamon Vodka, Hard Truth Toasted Coconut Rum, and Hard Truth Toasted Coconut Rum Cream. Hard Truth’s spirits are distributed in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming with several new states coming on board in 2023.
Hard Truth Distilling Cuts Ribbon on New Rickhouse
High Road will be Hard Truth’s largest scale release in the 8-year history of the distillery. The production of High Road is one of numerous reasons Hard Truth recently conducted a major distillery expansion that includes the construction of its second rackhouse. Just completed Rackhouse No. 2 is twice the size of Hard Truth’s first rackhouse, tripling storage capacity from 4,000 to 12,000 barrels.