The truth is, the whiskey is surprisingly delicious, and an intriguing cocktail base. (photo courtesy of the distillery)

Some say you’re not a true Southerner unless you’ve tossed a handful of peanuts into a cold bottle of Coca-Cola to enjoy as a salty-sweet treat. Southern Indiana-based Hard Truth Distilling Co. elevates the concept with a new peanut butter whiskey that simply begs for a Coke mixer, joining a flavored spirits lineup that also includes a cinnamon vodka and a toasted coconut rum.

“When developing this spirit, I was focused on balancing the complexity of salted and deeply roasted peanut butter with the traditional straight bourbon whiskey character of caramel, corn, and oak,” explains Bryan Smith, Hard Truth Master Distiller.

Hard Truth emerged in the rustic artisan community of Nashville, Ind. in 2015 as an offshoot of the Big Woods restaurant family and Quaff On! Brewing Company. Now, the 18,000 square-foot Hard Truth Hills operation is the largest destination distillery in Indiana, hunkering down on a 325-acre rural spread of land nestled into the rolling hills of scenic Brown County. 

The peanut butter whiskey infuses Hard Truth’s two-year straight bourbon with rich honey-roasted peanut flavor. Sweet notes lend a dessert-like quality, making the product ideal for sipping straight over ice, spiking hot chocolate, or pouring over a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a sort of affogato. The finish calls to mind the childhood delight of licking creamy peanut butter directly off a spoon without the after-effect of its sticking to the roof of your mouth.

The 70-proof Peanut Butter Whiskey ($30) is available at the distillery and at retailers around Indiana; it’s been spotted in other parts of the country as well. If you find some, be sure to squirrel it away.