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Press Release: Hard Truth Releases Barrel Finish Reserve Collection

Posted: October 27, 2023
Press Release: Hard Truth Releases Barrel Finish Reserve Collection

Hard Truth Distilling Co., an award-winning whiskey distillery located in Brown County, Indiana, today announced the release of Barrel Finish Reserve — four unique pairings of Hard Truth’s finest sweet mash aged in the highest quality barrels sourced from some of the world’s most celebrated winemakers.

All four new whiskeys come under Hard Truth’s award-winning Sweet Mash Rye label and will
be available in extremely limited quantities. Barrel Finish Reserve, which will be an annual
offering, is mashed, distilled, aged, and bottled by the distillers at the Hard Truth distillery.

Each expression is available in 750 mL bottles with a suggested retail price of $99.99.

The barrel lineup includes Pedro Ximénez Sherry, Pedro Ximénez Brandy, Sauternes and
Cognac. Each barrel type housed a unique blend of Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye’s mainline RW-1 mash bill of 94% rye and 6% malted barley.
According to Bryan Smith, Hard Truth Master Distiller, “Barrel finishing in the American whiskey scene has been an exciting space over the past few years.”

Smith tapped Chris Moore, Hard Truth’s barrel program manager, who has robust knowledge and experience in the world of wine and wine-based spirits, to source the highest quality finishing barrels without cost consideration.

“To stay consistent with Hard Truth’s philosophy for making the highest quality whiskey, it was
critical that we use not just any barrel – but instead use barrels with the level of quality and
provenance that could match and complement its specific style of sweet mash whiskey
making,” said Moore.

Moore added that once the barrels were selected, extreme care was taken to match the
whiskey blend to each finishing cask. The result included four custom blends that each enhance the flavor of their companion finishing barrels without sacrificing the complexity and richness of Hard Truth’s sweet mash whiskey.

Smith concluded, “We are thrilled with the way these whiskeys finished out and excited for our
fans to get these limited bottles. The intent and careful work done on the front end of this
project really shows off in the glass.”

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye Finished in Pedro Ximénez Sherry Barrels

Batch size: 3 barrels
Dumped on July 18, 2023
Bottled at 113.3 proof (56.65 percent ABV)

Barrel notes

Pedro Ximénez Sherry is a thick, sweet, syrupy, dark wine made only from Pedro Ximénez grapes that have been sun-dried in Jerez, Spain — the sherry wine capital of the world. Typically, the wine is fortified, then placed in French Oak barrels and aged upwards of 12 years.

Tasting notes

Sherry from this white Spanish grape is extremely rich and sweet. Paired with
Hard Truth’s Sweet Mash Rye, this barrel imparts rich notes of vanilla custard, cassis, and rye spice that awakens the senses, with bright fruit, brûléed sugar, and warming spices on the palate. It features a warm, dessert finish with concord grape jelly and smooth vanilla, fading to dark chocolate and clove.

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye Finished in Pedro Ximénez Brandy Barrels

Batch size: 2 barrels
Dumped Aug. 28, 2023
Bottled at 114 proof (57 percent ABV)

Barrel notes

New cooperage, 225 L, American Oak barrels that originally housed PX Sherry for 17 years are filled with Brandy de Jerez, where it undergoes the solera process until harvest. The resulting spirit is sweet in flavor with complex baking spice notes and a touch of fruit.

Tasting notes

With sweet notes of maple syrup, baking spices, and candied fruit, the Pedro
Ximénez Brandy barrels give Hard Truth’s Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey a rich complexity of sweetness, quickly overtaken by soft fruit notes, rich clove, cinnamon, and pepper. A warming finish of cinnamon and shortbread give way to toffee and a hint of oak.

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye Finished in Sauternes Wine Barrels

Batch size: 3 barrels
Dumped Aug. 28, 2023
Bottled at 100 proof (55 percent ABV)

Barrel notes

Sauternes is a French sweet white wine made in the Graves region of Bordeaux,
France. The wine is composed of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that are
affected by botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, which causes the grapes to partially raisin, creating a unique sweet dessert wine. The wine is often rested in French Oak barrels for five-plus years.

Tasting notes

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye finished in Sauternes barrels balances rye
spice with sweet pastry notes, rich raisin, warm baking spice, and a dessert finish of lingering
candied fruit, pepper, allspice, and a touch of honey.

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye Finished in French Oak Cognac Barrels

Batch size: 3 barrels
Dumped Aug. 28, 2023
Bottled at 108 proof (54 percent ABV)

Barrel notes

Cognac VSOP is a French Brandy made of mostly Ugni Blanc grapes from Cognac,
France and must be aged in Limousin French Oak barrels for a minimum of four years.

Tasting notes

French Cognac is known worldwide as a rich sipping spirit, and its barrels impart notes of
baked apple, brown sugar crumble and bold baking spice = to Hard Truth
Sweet Mash Rye. The finish is long and inviting finish, featuring fruit with a touch of maple, fading to black pepper and toffee.

 


 

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