, a small batch rye whiskey
from Iowa, has quite an interesting history; it was first introduced in the 1920s and was made illegally throughout the Prohibition Era. During that time Templeton was at the center of Al Capone
's bootlegging empire, and was even shipped to him during his imprisonment at Alcatraz.
The end of the Prohibition
came in 1933, but the production of Templeton Rye continued, and the whiskey has only been made privately and in small quantities for loyal patrons since. Templeton Rye launched its first legal product in 2006, and is currently only available in Illinois and Iowa
, though that will hopefully change soon.
Following the Prohibition Era recipe, Templeton is aged for more than four years in charred new white oak barrels. While a rye
whiskey must by definition be made from a mash containing at least 51% rye, Templeton is made from a mash of more than 90% rye. As the bottle says, it makes for "a smooth finish and a clean getaway."
The unique whiskey presents a rye spiciness and almost bittersweet taste that is found in the rye grain, along with notes of dried fruit, toffee, caramel and allspice. Texturally, the deep amber-colored whiskey is thick and almost chewy. The mellow, yet complex rye has a clean, spicy finish. The rye taste mixed with spiciness and sweet undertones are well balanced, a sign of careful aging.