Hard Truth Distillery is in Nashville, Indiana. They are making some excellent sweet mash rye whiskeys. This particular rye whiskey is made with 51% rye, 38% corn and 11% caramel malted barley. I was sent a bottle of this whiskey and Matt and I sat down to taste it. Here are our tasting notes.

Hard Truth 2022 Master Distiller’s Reserve Caramel Malt Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey

Proof: 117.4

Age: Two Years Old


  • Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, apricots, baking spices and oak wood.
  • Matt: Vanilla. Hard caramel candy, oak wood.


  • Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, apricots and raspberry fruit, cinnamon spice and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the raspberry fruit is enhanced and the spice becomes a white pepper. Tasted with a pecan and caramel and milk chocolate come out and the spice becomes a cardamom spice.
  • Matt: Rye grass, vanilla and buttered toffee candy, oak wood. The dried cranberry brought out flavors of cherries and cinnamon. The pecan brought out flavors of caramel apples and buttered popcorn.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak wood and cinnamon spice. The dried cranberry made the finish very peppery. The pecan made the finish very long with oak wood, cardamom spice and lingering caramel.
  • Matt: Medium long with oak and lingering toffee sweetness. The dried cranberry made the finish very spicy with white pepper, cinnamon and oak wood. The pecan made the finish very long with oak, nutmeg and a buttery mouth feel.

I would pair this fine rye whiskey with a cigar that has a lot of caramel and cedar spice in the smoke. I would reach for a Padron 1964 Anniversary Series cigar.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller