A while back, we found a fantastic assortment of little tiny bottles on G-LO’s front step. In the care package, were sample bottles of Four Roses (Yellow Label, Small Batch, and Single Barrel), Carpano Antica, Punt E Mes, and Templeton Rye.
When it comes to rye whiskey, I am always a little confused as most, if not all, seems to come from the old Lawrenceburg Distillers facility in Indiana that is now owned by MGP Ingredients. The Indiana facility produces the 95% rye whiskey bottled under the brand names of Bulleit, High West, Filibuster, James E. Pepper, Redemption, and Smooth Ambler. Still other rye whiskey is produced in Indiana and then trucked to distillers for filtering and bottling (i.e., George Dickel Rye). So, when rye whiskey comes to the table, let’s just say that I am a little suspicious that the liquid isn’t coming from the same spigot as all of the other rye, and that the only difference between them is the ABV and shape of the bottle. With that in mind, we poured out a healthy sample of the Templeton Rye, which not surprisingly is produced at the LDI facility and then tankered to Iowa for bottling.
Here is what Templeton has to say about their Rye:
Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, at Templeton Rye, we believe taste depends on the taster. So while we focus our on making consistently superior rye whiskey, we prefer to let you determine what flavors you detect in our product.
And now for our impressions of this whiskey…
- Appearance: Pale copper color with great lacing.
- Limpd: Alcohol, furniture polish, citrus, and menthol (like the vapor action effect of a Hall’s).
- G-LO: Light and fragrant with hints of orange zest, coca, peppermint, vanilla, allspice, and black pepper.
- Limpd: Spicy (more black pepper than cinnamon) and sweet (more minty than syrupy) with a bit of citrus (orange, lemon, lime) and just the slightest, warming finish.
- G-LO: Very light bodied with just a bit of alcohol burn. Lightly sweet with a solid herbal, minty backbone. Very short finish.
- ABV: 40%
I would say the Templeton is too low in ABV to distinguish itself from all of the other rye whiskies. There just wasn’t enough in the flavor profile to generate the complexity of some other ryes. G-LO felt that this one of those times when he wished we were doing a side-by-side with some of the other LDI/MGP ryes to really see how Templeton differs from the rest.
Ultimately, we agreed that while we liked the Templeton Rye, it might not be worth the couple of extra bucks. G-LO thought that given the price point ($35+) and relatively low ABV, he would go for the Bulleit Rye (higher octane, lower price, and richer flavor), or even better, he would spend $20 and pick up the Wild Turkey 81 Rye.