Hard Truth Distilling, a growing in popularity whiskey producer out of Indiana, hit gold not too long ago with a a successful late-2021 launch of its Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey. Success struck again with subsequent batch releases in the first half of last year and now, spurred on by this, the distillery has announced an aggressive push deeper into sweet mash style whiskeys.
Following upon recent word of constructing a second rackhouse twice the size of its current rackhouse, tripling storage capacity from 4,000 to 12,000 barrels, the distillery has laid out plans to develop a series of sweet mash whiskeys. Over the next few years Hard Truth will introduce expressions from four unique rye mash bills and four unique bourbon mash bills, bringing a variety of flavor profiles to market.
“We’re on the forefront of a new era of whiskey-making as sweet mash pioneers here in the state of Indiana,” said Hard Truth Master Distiller Bryan Smith in a prepared statement. “There is a small, but mighty group of distillers making sweet mash whiskey and celebrating this innovative way of making whiskey, and I feel honored and proud to be in such great company.”
As for what exactly sweet mash whiskey is, Hard Truth explains it like this: “Most whiskeys are produced using a sour mash method — a process that uses leftover mash from previous distillations in each new batch of whiskey. Historically, this was done out of necessity because the high acidity of the leftover mash helps ensure no bacterial contamination or other infection in the new batches.
“Advances in distilling systems and sanitization processes, however, enabled the development of sweet mash — a process where each new batch starts entirely fresh — an exciting way to create whiskeys with characteristics unique to the method.”
“The standard sour mash process can mute some amazingly complex and pleasant grain flavors that the sweet mash process tends to highlight,” added Smith. “It is a more expensive and labor-intensive process to make whiskey this way, but the final product speaks for itself.”