Hard Truth Master Distiller’s Reserve Caramel Malt Sweet Mash Rye (RW-4) (Batch 001)


Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Hard Truth Distilling Co.

Distillery: Hard Truth Distilling Co.

Release Date: Late 2022

Proof: 117.4 (Barrel Strength)

Age: 2 Years

Mashbill: 51% Rye, 38% Corn, 11% Caramel Malted Barley

Color: Copper

MSRP: $90 (2023)

Official Website


Toffee | Butterscotch | Buttercream | Cinnamon rolls | Adobo pepper


Heath caramel candy bar | Cinnamon | Toasted pecans | Mild dark fruit


Cola | Oak | Pepper | Spice mixed with heat


The whiskey’s name doesn’t lie, this is a caramel lover’s dream.

Located in Nashville, Indiana, Hard Truth Distilling Co. offers a broad range of spirits from rum to high-aged sourced bourbon to in-house distilled whiskeys. Sweet Mash Rye Batch 001 is an eight barrel batch that was distilled from 51% rye and 38% corn, but more interestingly, an additional 11% caramel malted barley using a sweet mash.

The bottle’s label states the whiskey was aged over 2 years, but like Sweet Mash Rye, it shows little signs of youth. The nose is a delicious concoction of baking released flavors of toffee, butterscotch, buttercream, and cinnamon rolls. The palate isn't too far off but takes a step down into a deeper level of caramelization. Strong toffee notes in the form of a chocolate Heath bar sum up the palate perfectly. The finish transitions into a mixture of cola and oak. The whiskey’s heat and spice element come into play. It’s 117.4 proof is very drinkable, likely thanks to the heavy sweet caramel component to this rye. Hard Truth continues to impress with their in-house whiskey, and in a very crowded whiskey market, they have managed to carve themselves out a nice niche.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

March 23, 2023
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