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Hard Truth Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Bourbon




Whiskey Review: Hard Truth Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

It was aged five years after being distilled from a mash bill of 69% corn, 19% wheat, and 12% malted barley. It is bottled 100-proof and priced at $54.99.
There is a nice amber-golden color in this glass, bringing along with it decent legs and moderate viscosity.
The nose aromatics reflect a very muted wheat influence, showcasing softer characteristics of orange marmalade, gentle vanilla, downplayed oak, ripe apricot, and a minuscule amount of honeysuckle.
The palate of this wheated bourbon is remarkably underplayed and mellow. There are very gentle considerations here of ripe orange, coriander, vanilla bean, mature oak, green apple, peppermint, and a dancing around of honey melon.
This drifts into the finish a bit more poppy than throughout the rest of the tasting, but not by much, holding itself briefly before the fade-off.
Compared to other wheater bourbons tried over the years, Hard Truth’s attempt at this is a bit understated. You want more out of this, but something isn’t here. It’s not bad – I just wouldn’t put it before others of its ilk if it were in a lineup.
Hard Truth Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Bourbon review
We review Hard Truth Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Bourbon, a 100-proof offering aged five years after being distilled from a mash bill of 69% corn, 19% wheat, and 12% malted barley. (image via Hard Truth Distilling)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Since its start in distilling back in 2015, Indiana’s Hard Truth distillery has primarily focused on being a whiskey producer, more specifically, a maker of bourbon. Some of the earliest things they produced were bourbon, but it wasn’t something they were ready to bring to market until they thought it was ready.

Meanwhile, while the bourbon was aging, Hard Truth focused on other spirits, including vodka, rum, and, more recently, what is now a popular line of rye whiskeys. The bourbon kept sleeping, resting in specially designed barrels Hard Truth master distiller and co-founder Bryan Smith worked with Independent Stave Company to create. These barrels, sporting custom toast and char profiles intended to complement the sweet mash coming off the still, were built using 18- to 24-month dried staves, aged far beyond the typical three to six months.

Also, in a nod to its Indiana roots, Hard Truth worked as much as possible with in-state family farmers to source the grains making up the three new bourbon mash bills. Doug Miller, a local, fifth-generation Indiana farmer located just 60 miles from the distillery, grows most of the wheat and all of the corn used. Most of the rye is also from Indiana and is grown in the southwestern part of the state by farmer Dr. Duane Kuhlenschmidt.

These varied choices, rooted in a sweet mash-focused whiskey style and housed in a 325-acre destination distillery, which it moved to in 2018, marked a new chapter in the Hard Truth story when its new bourbons came to market recently.

“We’ve always been a bourbon company,” noted Smith when the bourbons debuted, “we’ve just been waiting for the right moment to introduce ours to the world.”

What’s in the bottle

The bourbon highlighted in this review is the Hard Truth Bottled-In-Bond Wheated Bourbon. Meeting the criteria for a bottled-in-bond whiskey, it is a 100-proof offering aged five years after being distilled from a mash bill of 69% corn, 19% wheat, and 12% malted barley. It is produced in small batches of 30 or fewer barrels and priced at $54.99 per 750 ml bottle.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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