Distiller introducing bourbon to public at local liquor store


By Jordan Richart

For The Tribune

This month is an exciting one for Hard Truth Distillery — and whiskey lovers.

The Nashville-based distillery’s long-anticipated bourbon will be released and hitting shelves soon.

Those eager to give it a try will have the opportunity to do so locally as the distillery has teamed up with Vick’s Liquor Store in Seymour for an official release party.

The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the store, 400 E. Tipton St., Seymour. The event will include samples and giveaways and feature Lola’s Modern Kitchen food truck.

Vick’s owner Keith Yazell said it’s an exciting time for his store but also for bourbon lovers because Hard Truth will be offering three different expressions of bourbon.

Hard Truth sales representative Sam Orbaugh said the release is something the distillery has been excited about for some time.

“This marks a new chapter in the Hard Truth story with the release of our first bourbons produced grain-to-glass,” he said. “We are very excited that after four to five years of aging at our distillery in Nashville, three new bourbons — Sweet Mash Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon and Four Grain Bourbon — are finally ready for release.”

Hard Truth has become known for quality spirits, especially its Sweet Mash Rye whiskey, but this will be the first bourbon. The difference is in the mash bill — or recipe — whereas in bourbon, it must be 51% corn, made in the United States and aged in a new charred oak barrel.

The Bottled in Bond offerings meet the standards of the Bottled in Bond Act laid out by Congress in 1897. That means the bourbon was aged at least four years in a supervised bonded warehouse, made in one distilling season by one distiller and a few other regulations.

“Bottled in Bond products are usually some of the highest quality that bourbon enthusiasts seek out,” Yazell said.

He added his favorite is the Wheated Bottled in Bond.

“All of them are delicious, but I do love that wheated,” he said. “It’s all about your preference, but all three are amazing and high up in each category.”

Orbaugh said his favorite is the Bottled in Bond Four Grain because the flavor profile is one he enjoys in bourbon.

“It exudes flavors of honeycrisp apple and butterscotch that lead into rich tobacco and oak, followed by honey and cracked black pepper on the finish,” he said. “The Four Grain Bourbon caters to my palate, but that’s what makes it exciting is that everyone is different.”

Orbaugh said he looks forward to meeting new people, sharing the Hard Truth story and providing samples to those who are 21 and older. He added his relationship with Vick’s is one he appreciates because of how supportive Yazell and the staff have been of the Hard Truth products.

“Vick’s is a great partner, and they have been very supportive of the Hard Truth portfolio,” he said. “We very much appreciate all of our retail partners in the Seymour area.”

Yazell said the tastings, like the Hard Truth bourbon release, have been something the store has started to ramp up over the last year. He said the tastings have been successful and well attended.

“I have to thank the people who support us for that,” he said. “It seems that we have familiar and new faces each time we host one. I’ve got a great bunch of people behind me who support me.”

Yazell said the store decided to start offering tastings as a way to get information out about the products available at Vick’s. He said tasting products also helps people understand what they like and what they don’t like about certain offerings.

“You can’t tell someone how something tastes. You can try, but everyone’s taste is different, so our events help them find what their preferences are,” he said. “You don’t have to go an hour away to try it, and it’s free. They also get to see our other selections in the store.”

The tastings also provide some social time for those who attend, he said, which is something he has enjoyed observing.

“I really have enjoyed seeing the social aspect and camaraderie,” he said. “It’s almost become a social event here because you meet new people.”

Yazell said the tastings and social aspects that go along with them help him offer something to the community and be involved. It’s why he’s also become involved in the Seymour Main Street Bourbon Pour, a blind tasting the organization hosts in the spring.

“We should support something like that because we need to support those who support us,” he said. “We’re honored to be a part of it.”

If you go

What: Hard Truth bourbon release

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 16

Where: Vick’s Liquor Store, 400 E. Tipton St., Seymour

Other info: Free samples of the newly released bourbons, giveaways and Lola’s Modern Kitchen food truck

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