Templeton Rye comeback

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Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby Brewer » Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:08 am

Here's some interesting info.

Iowa native plans legal production of Templeton Rye whiskey

(Associated Press)--Templeton Rye, the Prohibition-era single-barrel whiskey, may be making a comeback.

A native Iowan whose family has a history in the storied production of the liquor is planning its legal production.

Scott Bush, president and founder of the boutique liquor start-up called Templeton Rye Spirits, said the first bottles of the trademarked rye whiskey could be produced as soon as this fall.

"We're trying to revitalize the brand and make it legal and sell it," Bush said.

Templeton Rye Spirits has trademarked the name "Templeton Rye" and is treating the recipe as a trade secret, much like the formula for Kentucky Fried Chicken or Coca-Cola. The recipe has been handed down through generations.

Bush said the rye whiskey will be made in small, high quality batches.

Templeton Mayor Ken Behrens said its production could be a boost to the local economy.

"The fact that it's going to be a product that stems from Templeton heritage is that much nicer," Behrens said.

Rye Spirits has worked with Templeton Area Development Corp. in recent months to get the product from the idea stage to customers. The development corporation's contractor is expected to break ground on a basic structure next month, and completion is expected this fall. Rye Spirits, which plans to lease the 2,000-square-foot building, will be responsible for adding the technical components of the facility.

Bush said Templeton Rye Spirits may seek additional financing in the future.

"If it comes to that, our first place to look would be in the area," he said.

Bush, 30, currently lives in Cambridge, Mass. He is a graduate of Wall Lake View Auburn and the University of Iowa. He later earned his master's in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after working in the banking industry in Chicago and New York City.

He and his wife Jessica, who are expecting their first child, will be moving back to Iowa, where he said his family has roots with Templeton Rye.

"My great-grandfather actually was involved, and it was interesting hearing those stories," Bush said. "Once we got old enough we would sit around and drink some, and they would tell old family stories. We had always talked about it. A lot of people from where we're from have talked about doing this."
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:23 am

Hmmm. He hopes to have product available this fall, and is going to break ground on his production facility this fall. Sounds to me like this is going to be somebody else's rye for at least a while.
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Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:37 pm

Or a very young one. :)

Sounds like the family has samples of the original Templeton Rye. I assume this was a commercial whiskey (not some kind of home brew) sold before the Second War if not before Prohibition.

We wish all such ventures well and look forward to the product, whatever form it takes.

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Unread postby Strayed » Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:48 am

gillmang wrote:...We wish all such ventures well and look forward to the product, whatever form it takes.

Amen.
Linda and I will be looking forward to seeing this new product. If nothing else, it will provide us with a good reason to visit Iowa!
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:05 pm

Thanks for posting that, Bob. Exciting to see new ventures starting up.
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby Brewer » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:36 pm

I had a chance to taste this Rye last weekend. It had a nice aroma and silky texture. Very smooth. Some typical rye spiciness, with a pretty good dose of vanilla and citrus flavors. The finish was long, smooth and sweet. I'm hoping to get to try this again.
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:20 pm

This product has been available for some time, and apparently is rye whiskey distilled at Lawrenceburg, Indiana (formerly a Seagram facility as many here know). The company has, apparently again, released this while its own-distilled stocks are aging.

On another note: what say you (John) of the new Woodstone bourbon? I think it is excellent.

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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby Brewer » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:55 am

Gary,

Have you tasted the Templeton? Do you know when Templeton's own stocks would be available? Also, where is Woodstone from, and what is it like?
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby gillmang » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:17 am

Yes I have Bob, a few times (at Gazebos in Kentucky). It is a soft rich whiskey, somewhat like Russell's Reserve rye.

Woodstone is the new straight bourbon from a craft distillery in Cincinnati run by Don Outterson and his wife, it is a spin-off of a long-established winery they have. There is a range of spirits they make, soon a malt whisky will come out. The Woodstone is excellent. A quick search online will locate the website with pictures of the labels. Mike or John can direct you there if necessary.

By the way Bob, the new Char No. 4 restaurant and bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn has Green Spot - for a low price per dram. This is generally a bourbon bar with a rather impressive collection of bourbons and ryes, but they have some malts and Irish too and I noticed Green Spot.

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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby Brewer » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:27 pm

Gary,

Thanks for the info on Woodstone. I'll look into that. I think a friend may be getting some of the Templeton shipped to NY, so hopefully I'll get to enjoy it a bit more in the future! :D

Also, I may need to make a stop at the Char No. 4 bar that you mention. I'm impressed to see they've got Green Spot. I brought back a bottle, so when I go there, I'll have to try something else that is new. But for anyone else in the Brooklyn area, and especially if you like Irish whiskey, I recommend giving Green Spot a taste. I don't think you'll be disappointed. BTW, it's great you found this place, but I'm wondering how do you find these places, given that you're not a native NY'er?
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby gillmang » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:36 pm

Well Bob, my wife buys New York magazine sometimes, and a review was in this month's issue. Simple as that!

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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:54 pm

For a long time I resisted the Lawrenceburg, IN, (L-IN) explanation, which originally came to light when it was quasi-revealed that the High West rye came from there. The more I think about it, the more likely it becomes that the Templeton is from there too. I wonder if that could also be the source of the Michter's?

The whiskey-making capabilities of L-IN are hazy. I've never visited the place and have never talked about it with anyone who has. I understand they do have a small whiskey distillery in there (they mostly make vodka and gin) and it historically produced some of the whiskey components for the Seagram's blends, but I assumed that meant the corn whiskey and other unaged components. Blends must contain a minimum amount of straight whiskey. I knew straight bourbon from Four Roses was shipped to L-IN for that purpose so it never occurred to me they might be making other straights there too, but why not? They have warehouses. The only "problem" with making bourbon there was that you couldn't call it Kentucky bourbon, but that's not an issue with straight rye.

They could also use straight rye or straight bourbon produced there in their Canadian blends, which may contain up to 9% non-Canadian spirit.

I should have figured all this out a long time ago.

As for Templeton's own make, try getting a straight answer on that, which is the main problem with them and the main reason I don't have much interest in their product, which is over-priced by about double anyway. However, if they manage to make something there in Iowa that tastes anything like the stuff they're selling now, that will be impressive, but I'm not holding my breath.

They have received approval of a couple of different products, one of which might actually resemble the Prohibition-era moonshine they claim to be imitating. (The proposition that any Prohibition-era moonshiners were selling a properly-aged straight rye whiskey is utterly preposterous.) Their other approved label is for a "spirit specialty" that is 10% rye and 90% sugar cane spirit. Most moonshiners then and now use table sugar, to which they might add a handful of ground grain for flavor.
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby Mike » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:24 pm

I was given a bottle of Templeton Small Batch Rye Whiskey (I get to take half the bottle and return the remainder to its rightful owner......I believe it was a gift to him also). It is 80 proof and claims, as Chuck noted above, to be a Prohibition Era Recipe. This is Batch 2, Barrel 115, Bottle 2 and it was bottled in Templeton on 3-19-2008. Based on the posts above I take this to be in fact, Iowa whiskey.

The label claims that Templeton Whiskey was Al Capone's favorite, whether to impress me or unimpress me (would Capone's taste in anything be something I would care about, given his despicable character?).

The nose is extraordinarily floral, citrusy, and sweet, with some mint (spearmint gum?) and is quite pleasant with mild hints of vanilla and only a faint echo of wood. A bit longer in the glass yields up a smidge of leather. A pretty good nose that promises a sweet taste.

The taste is softly sweet upfront followed by a rip of spicy, cinnamony rye with a large dollop of orange/citrus. Is that a slight glimmer of pine I detect? I find the taste quite agreeable with no off-putting elements.........but also remeniscent of some of the flavored vodkas in its lack of staying power.

The finish seems very short to me and leaves me asking 'where did it go?' 

Overall, TR has its moments, they just aren't sustained and leave you hanging. I think this Buster would benefit from a WHALLOP of about 20% from some good old WT Rare Breed, which I am about to administer...............hmmmm, make that a 25% WHALLOP...........now, that is mucho more gooder stuff!!............retains that wonderful flowery sweetness and orangy playfulness while providing a convincing and lasting exit.

Now, we are talking good whiskey y'all.

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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:27 am

I know of no good reason to assume that anything they have put out was distilled and aged in Iowa.
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Re: Templeton Rye comeback

Unread postby jlahne » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:16 pm

I don't mean to be contrary, but why wouldn't the currently bottled batch have been distilled at the Iowa facility? Whiskey only has to be aged for 2 years to be labeled as straight, and I'm not even sure that Templeton claims to be "straight". I know that the ryes that Anchor is producing under the Old Potrero label aren't necessarily aged even that long. Technically, as long as the distillate (which, of course, must be of certain proof, etc) touches a new, charred, oak barrel for any length of time, and is made of at least 51% of the specified grain, it can be sold as, in this case, "rye whiskey". It might not be the most smooth product, but it's still legal. So there doesn't really need to be that much lead up time, and the AP article was from 2005...

I'm partly curious because I'm doing a thesis on rye whiskey, so it's of (heh) academic interest to me. I think Templeton's whole Prohibition/Capone thing is unutterably corny, but I just wonder whether the corniness (rye-i-ness?) disguises something less authentic, or if they're a perfectly good distillery with a kind of lame marketing plan.
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