Templeton Rye imagines a time when cocktails were illegal and the mobsters were real.
Back in 2001, Scott Bush and Meryl Kerkhoff formed a partnership to bring back the “Templeton Rye” brand back to market. Back in the dark days of Prohibition a group of farmers met secretly in the little town of Templeton, Iowa — becoming bootleggers to supplement their incomes. This was the first Templeton Rye Whiskey. It is said that it was Al Capone’s favorite hooch, who called it “The Good Stuff.” The end of Prohibition and an economic recovery put an end to the original Templeton Rye, and the new version is a tribute to it.
Most of the Rye spirits used by brands in the United States comes out of MGP in Indiana (they’ve gotten very good at it), and Templeton is no exception. But it follows their specific formulation: 95% Rye, a dash of corn and barley, and a full four years of aging in new charred oak. Legally, you only need to have 51% Rye in the mash bill to call it “Rye,” so if you are a fan of Rye Whiskey you will definitely get the spice and zing you are looking for. We suggest you get yourself a bottle now, mix up a perfect Manhattan Cocktails, and raise a glass to federal prisoner #AZ-85 — Al Capone.
Smartass Corner: So, why not 100% Rye? Well, of all the grains, Rye is the most temperamental. It can be REALLY hard to get the yeast to grab ahold of the Rye and get started off right. So adding just a bit of corn for sugar and barley for enzymes help smooth out the fermenting process.
Smooth with an excellent finish. Can drink straight and hold up to being mixed into an old fashioned. My go to rye!
Great local Iowa spirit. Nice Manhattan.
Very easy to drink and very tasty. Don't know too much about ryes, but with this being one of the firsts that I've tasted, I dont have any complaints at all.
A great smell, smooth and good flavor. Great sipping whiskey. This is in my top 2 favorites!
Very good! Nice sweet fruity notes with smooth caramel finish
Love this stuff, and a beautiful new distillery too!
Medium all around, a great every day rye.
A hint of spice with a sweet finish. Great Sipper!
Really like this one. The wife does too... bottle went a little too fast. Spicy yet smooth with great caramel notes.
Spicy and sweet.
Delicious, very enjoyable, great for the price and flavor.
I love the spice and notes. One of my favorites so far, especially in an Old Fashioned.
Aroma:. Notes of sweetness, warmth on the nose. Taste:. Strong alcohol taste and some burn that mellows out with spices and creaminess. On ice: still fairly strong alcohol, less burn. More buttery, less spices.
Overall a decent whiskey, would make for a good mixing whiskey!
Affordable and delicious. I enjoyed the kick this one has, with a long, warm caramel finish. This was my gateway rye for sure, as a bourbon drinker, and is become my go-to whiskey.
Great, affordable rye with a smooth, spicy flavor
Great Rye that sooths.
Not a fan of the spice on this one, but I'd drink it if there weren't better choices available.
I love Templeton. It is a fantastic rye. I prefer their 6yr or their new Maple Cask (not sweet & syrupy like you might think) since the 4yr is only 80%, a little "too smooth" actually. But Templeton is great stuff. And if you can find their new Barrel Proof, count yourself in for a treat!
This is what got me into ryes. Very smooth and easy to drink.
It is one of the most true-tone Ryes I have had. Reminds me of how pure the taste is when sipping Pliney the Elder. Delicious and go-to. Not luxurious or exotic but a staple cabinet bottle that I will turn to more times than not.
Light spice for a rye. Smooth, but then again it's 80 proof so won't have much of bite. Decent drink for the price point it's at.
I got a taste of those burnt sugar almonds that they sell at Christmas time and most sports arenas. I wouldn’t even be sure this was a rye without the spicy nose.
It's a tasty, hot, rye, but smooth enough to drink on its own.
The Good Stuff
One of my favorites. Goes well in an Old Fashioned or on the rocks.
Classic Rye Whiskey
Never give anything a perfect review, but like others have said, this is the best Rye Whiskey I've had, and I'll stick with it. Was lucky enough to be gifted one of the 10 year old anniversary editions to get me started. The 4 year old edition has become my daily sipper.
Bland with no rye character. It also has odd notes of allspice? nutmeg? I relegated my bottle to only using it in mixed drinks.
My preferred Rye so far. Many an old-fashioned has been made with this. Spicy without being overbearing and a light sweetness as a counterbalance.
Tastes exactly like the other MGP rye whiskeys. Maybe when they're actually bottling their own product in 2022 I'll give them another shot.
Not enough rye and spice, but it is very smooth, I would like it more if it was stronger.
A satisfying rye
I’m not sure if I got a bad glass but I found this the worst whiskey I have tried in extensive whiskey experience. Intense alcohol taste, bad flavor, difficult to finish a glass.
Surprisingly nice rye; very smooth with a nice finish.
Smooth, lightly flavored rye. Recommended for those who don't like stronger / darker flavored rye whiskeys
A very good whiskey!
Exceptionally smooth rye. I like it best served neat.
Nothing special. Sourced whiskey with added flavorings.
A nice smooth rye from the heart of Iowa
Love it...so smooth
Pretty tasty! Great in cocktails or on the rocks!
Great over one large rock. One of my favorites.
Hands down my favorite Whiskey!
I do enjoy the 4 year Templeton. Smooth, medium spice, some sweetness with hints of oak, vanilla, and cherry. Nice finish with medium burn.
Mild Rye. Less spice noted. More Rye or grassy notes. Milder finish. I would classify as a great mild Rye whiskey.
A very watery light rye that has no major undertones.
Just fine. Nothing special.
Not overly complex - very smooth.
Close to home and one of my favs. Can’t wait for them to start distilling in Iowa full time!!!
Tango and bold, better with an ice cube
Great whiskey very smooth very dangerous I drank 3/4 of a bottle.... I felt it the next morning but worth it for sure
Was very good mixed with ginger ale
Very smooth, nice flavor and a good full body. Worth drinking.
Very nice flavor, added orange zest. Will buy again
Definitely is "the good stuff." Very well balanced and smooth.
Best Rye ever
Like it. Spicy, leather, oak.
Very good flavor and smooth
Peppery flavor smooth
I'll be honest and start by saying not all Templeton Rye is creating equal - there's the standard 4 Year Aged which is good, but then there's the 6 Year Aged which is hand's down better (and the only Templeton I'll buy). My review is of the 6 year, though I will add Templeton didn't always denote years on their bottles, and you can still find a few laying around which only say 'The Good Stuff' without a year designation. Despite all of this, Templeton Rye 6 Year Aged is my absolute favorite Rye Whiskey. You simply can't go wrong with 95% rye mash, but that's extremely high considering the minimum standard to call it Rye Whiskey is only 51%. The result of going full bore with 95% rye is an amazing spicy bite in every sip. I imagine the 5% non-rye helps smooth it out, and it IS smooth. Al Capone had it right when he said this was the good stuff because it's unlike any other whisk(e)y. Perfect neat or with an ice sphere, and it makes one hell of a mean Rye Old Fashioned - I like to muddle some orange zest with the sugar cube to bring out the spice upfront then let the drinker sit back and enjoy the long vanilla-citrus finish with each sip.
Very smooth and I like the cork sound it reminds me of the westerns when they step up to the bar for rye and you hear that cork😄
Very good for the $$
my favorite rye to make Manhattans with
Absolutely solid rye.
It was OK. Nothing offensive about it, but it didn't really have that spiciness that I would expect from a rye.
Very easy to drink. Very little burn. Not a lot of flavor or spice but for price not bad.
Very smooth and one of my favorites for the price.
Very smooth and not a smack your face with rye even though the rye content is high. Excellent choice to a regular bourbon .
Works with everything
Smooth as silk, velvet texture. Hint of caramel,vanilla.
Extremely smooth, one of the best rye ones I tried so far.
My dad like Manhattans, I made him one with this and he loved it. So I gave him the bottle. Winner.
Lost standards in the past few years.
I'm not normally a Rye kind of guy but I find Templeton is a great drink. Whether you want to sip it on its own or mix up an Old Fashioned, it hits the spot. Pair it with a nice cigar and enjoy a great evening sitting out back.
smooth with all the character of a rye whiskey. neat. always.
The first thing I noticed was the fig then the bite of the whiskey which was smoothed out by the honey. Not sure what the purpose of the additives but it makes it taste more "bourbon like" and masks some of the heat.
Tastes like a manhattan on its own
I absolutely love this rye whiskey. Its became my "usual".
Surprisingly smooth and sweet for a Rye. I expected a 4 year whiskey to be sharper, but was pleasantly surprised.
When it comes to Rye Whiskey this is it! Nothing else I've tried even compares. Absolutely delicious!!!
Very "Makers Mark-like" but with a hint of Jack Daniels. Good go-to whiskey but I've gone down that path before. Need to try other things.
Great rye. Excellent taste and very smooth.
A very smooth easy drinking rye.
I really like this rye
Great with oysters
This rye has rich flavor with a smooth finish.
Very smooth, extremely tasty
The previous poster appears to be correct. A Google search turned up an article from 2014: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2014/09/26/does-it-matter-where-templeton-rye-whiskey-is-made
To sum it up, Templeton is distilled by MGP in Indiana (using MGP's stock rye recipe) and blended in Templeton, Iowa. I've read through their website and they are very careful to use words like "produced" and "bottled", never once claiming that they distill it there. The claim that it closely matches the prohibition-era recipe may not be true; that depends on the recipe that MGP uses.
Does that make it a bad whiskey? Not necessarily; that decision is up each individual drinker. The backstory as presented, appears to be somewhat of a fabrication.
I've had Templeton both neat and in mixed drinks, and thought it was good, but not outstanding. Given the mostly glowing reviews listed here, it may get a revisit in the near future.
Isn't this Rye distilled by MGP and rebranded as Templeton and other brands? Seems like the marketing material above is a lot of BS. I'd be interested to hear what the knowledgeable folks at Flavior have to say about this.
Another Solid MGP product!
Great in an old fashioned!
An amazing gustational adventure.
Full bodied flavor smooth all the way through. Very enjoyable and easy drinking.
Does the trick when your back is out
Makes a great old fashioned.
I can see how Capone was able to build such a successful empire.
Artificially flavored, re-branded MGP rye whiskey. Much better choices out there for rye whiskey. The flavor is not horrible, I just can't get past the artificial flavoring though.
Love it. Early had a buddy get it got me in Iowa before it was mass produced.
A nice ambassador for new rye drinkers. Very soft, sweet rye. Not very spicy at all.
I'm more of a 'scotch guy' but this is good stuff. Highly recommended
Templeton is my all time favorite. I have tried other rye whiskys but they just don't measure up. There is also nice perks to being in their boot leggers club. In all i think Templeton Rye can not be beat in flavor and aroma. SMOOTH