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Hard Truth Distilling Chocolate Malt Sweet Mash Rye 2023




Whiskey Review: Hard Truth Distilling Chocolate Malt Sweet Mash Rye 2023

Tasting Notes:

Distilled from a mash bill of 51% rye, 38% corn, and 11% chocolate malted barley, it was aged at least two years and bottled at 114.8 proof.
This has a nice, rich amber color in the glass, showcasing decent legs and moderate viscosity.
Cacao and rye notes immediately pop here, giving the aroma of toasted almond, malted chocolate, bright spice, baking bread, and delicious caramel influences.
This is bright and spicy on the palate, offering a rich abundance of that chocolate malt’s cacao notes. It is joined by some black pepper, malted bread, oak, almond, coconut, and dry-roasted peanuts.
The finish on this one holds long and true, giving me a backsplash of rye and a hint of dryness as it fades out.
You have a solid sipper on this chocolate malt-influenced rye whiskey, but the dryness on the finish is a bit off-putting. Still, it’s a good offering from Hard Truth that would pair nicely with some fancy chocolate.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. Per our editorial policies, this in no way influenced the outcome of this review. 

In its time on the Indiana whiskey scene, Hard Truth Distilling has established itself as one of the craft leaders in that state. Begun in 2015, one of the things that’s become something of an in-house style is embracing the so-called “sweet mash” way of making whiskey. As we’ve explained in the past, this approach involves having each new batch of whiskey begin with a freshly made mash rather than reusing a portion of the spent mash from the previous production cycle, which would be considered the “Sour Mash” style more commonly used by many bourbon and rye makers today.

On the rye side of Hard Truth’s distilling playbook, a yearly offering is a series of whiskeys known as Master Distiller’s Reserve Collection. First released in 2022, this lineup focuses on using specialty roasted malts to impart more unique flavors into each expression. As Hard Truth has noted, “Chocolate malt is malted barley roasted to a very dark color which brings flavors of espresso and chocolate (like in a porter or stout beer). Caramel is roasted half as long and is more like caramel corn, sticky toffee in its flavor contributions.

“Malted Rye is a 100% rye whiskey which utilizes a portion of the mash bill in rye grain and a portion of rye grain that has been malted or sprouted and then kiln dried.”

Today, we’re reviewing the Hard Truth Distilling Chocolate Malt Sweet Mash Rye 2023 offering. Distilled from a mash bill of 51% rye, 38% corn, and 11% chocolate malted barley, it has been aged at least two years and is drawn from a “small batch” of 13 barrels. Available in 750 ml bottles, it is bottled at 114.8 proof.

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