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Indiana Rye Whiskey – A Proud Recognition For The State Of Indiana.

Irish, Scotch, Canadian, Bourbon, Tennessee etc. In the world of whiskey, these are some of the popular varieties and people who love whiskey are definitely a fan of one of these. When you think about Scotch whiskey, Johnnie Walker is the first name that pops up. Similarly, if you think about Bourbon it’s always Kentucky. Irish whiskey? Jameson is the best-known name in the world of Irish whiskey. So what is common here? The recognition of the brand to a level that associates the actual variety to the name of a particular brand. Gaining such eminence is a result of various factors that affect the actual standard of whiskey production, flavours, social presence and most importantly a standard definition highlighting them.

All of these variants and their brands have a glorified history attached to their existence. So let’s witness the revolution of another whiskey – Indiana’s Rye Whiskey.

1ST JULY , 2021

The day going down in the history of the whiskey world, a bill that gives the state of Indiana the opportunity to have its very own defined spirit being elevated to worldwide recognition. A market influenced highly by the likes of Kentucky and Bourbon will now have a new addition – Indiana Rye Whiskey.

“We want Indiana to be as popular for its rye whiskey as it is for basketball and racing. Establishing that market, both in sales and tourism, might one day put the success of our state’s distilleries on par with that of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.”

By Chris May, Indian State Rep. (R – District 65)

To highlight Indiana and help the state in being a new entrant, Indiana State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) authored this bill that will permit local distillers to make rye whiskey across U.S under a label acknowledging it as genuine Indiana rye whiskey. This bill was initially proposed in May 2020 by Jeff McCabe and Ed Ryan – Hard Truth Distilling Co. in Nashville, Indiana. Hard truth’s master distiller Bryan Smith was also present during the procedure that paved way for House enrolled Act 1396 – House bill 1409.

Indiana Rye Whiskey

Indiana Rye whiskey legislation follows guidelines set for rye whiskey. 51% rye in the grain stored in charred oak barrels, distilled at no more than 160 proof (80% ABV) and bottled at no more than 125 proof (40% ABV). The unique highlight connecting it to Indiana is – it be mashed, fermented, distilled, and then rested at least two years in the state of Indiana + the usage of charred white oak barrels.

“We knew that if we tried to narrow the scope all we would be doing is excluding other Indiana distillers. The whole spirit behind this was to get a rising tide event for all the distilleries in the state of Indiana and get the state to get behind us to promote Indiana crafted products.”

Rye is a notoriously difficult grain to handle through the mash, fermentation and distillation process. Craftsmen and women here in Indiana have long shared secrets and tips and tricks, resulting in a quality standard that sets Indiana apart in the world of rye whiskey making. Hard Truth Distilling Co. is proud to be a part of the Indiana Rye Whiskey community making history with this law.”

By Bryan Smith, Hard truth’s master distiller.

The basics of this law are just a start to establish standards and could be tweaked further in response to the needs that arise in the near future. One of the future goals set up by the master distiller and the renowned team of Hard truth is to have all of their rye whiskies to have Indiana grown grains.

Data from the Distilled Spirits Council – DISCUS highlights that the Indiana distilled spirits industry supports 25,600 jobs, contributes $2,509,640,000 to the state’s Gross Domestic Product and accounts for $57,171,838 in State Exports.

House Bill : 1409

Some standards put forth for marketing, labeling and selling Indiana Rye Whiskey include :

  1. manufactured in Indiana;
  2.  produced with a mash bill that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) rye;
  3.  distilled to not more than one hundred sixty (160) proof or eighty percent (80%) alcohol by volume;
  4.  aged in new, charred white oak barrels;
  5.  placed in a barrel at not more than one hundred twenty-five (125) proof or sixty-two and one-half percent (62 1/2%) alcohol by volume;
  6.  rested in a rack house for at least two (2) years in Indiana; and
  7.  bottled at not less than eighty (80) proof or forty percent (40%) alcohol by volume.

Full Definition and house bill are written below

To honour the new Indiana rye whiskey label, Hard Truth will release its second rye whiskey, Hard Trust Indiana Straight Rye Whiskey on 3rd July 2021 as part of the company’s celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Smith will be onsite from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to autograph bottles.


The Definition of Indiana Rye Whiskey


HOUSE BILL No. 1409

A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning alcohol and tobacco.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SECTION 1. IC 7.1-3-28 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2021]:

Chapter 28. Rye Whiskey

Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, “Indiana Rye Whiskey” means a liquor that was:
(1) manufactured in Indiana;
(2) produced with a mash bill that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) rye;
(3) distilled to not more than one hundred sixty (160) proof or eighty percent (80%) alcohol by volume;
(4) aged in new, charred white oak barrels;
(5) placed in a barrel at not more than one hundred twenty-five (125) proof or sixty-two and one-half percent (62 1/2%) alcohol by volume;
(6) rested in a rack house for at least two (2) years in Indiana; and
(7) bottled at not less than eighty (80) proof or forty percent (40%) alcohol by volume.
Sec. 2. A person may not advertise, label, sell, or refer for marketing or sales purposes liquor as:
(1) Indiana rye;
(2) Indiana rye whiskey;
(3) Indiana rye whisky;
(4) Indiana sweet mash rye whiskey;
(5) Indiana sweet mash rye whisky;
(6) Indiana sour mash rye whiskey; or
(7) Indiana sour mash rye whisky;
unless the liquor meets the requirements of Indiana rye whiskey as set forth in section 1 of this chapter.

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