If they were drinking whiskey this good back in the Prohibition days, I don’t feel so bad for them after all.
A purported favorite of Al Capone and “the center of his bootlegging empire,” Templeton Rye is a killer whiskey that — if marketng is to be believed — has been being produced in small quantities ever since those dark days.
Now it’s rolling across the country in less small quantities, and if you’re lucky enough to find one, count your blessings and bust out your Visa card.
Templeton is less overtly spicy than many ryes, and I found it to have more of a Canadian whisky character to it (which is typically a blend of rye and other grain whiskeys). Reportedly aged for five years in charred oak (though no formal age statement is noted), this is a surprisingly deep brown whiskey for a rye.
The flavor profile is overwhelming, and in a good way. Starting with honeycomb and toffee, it soon reveals notes of buttermilk biscuits, shortbread, and even gingersnaps. Extremely easygoing, there’s virtually no heat on the finish at all, which is probably why I’m well into glass #3. A bit of dark chocolate plays on the finish, too.
What’s not to like? Pretty much nothing except it’s horrible lack of availability. The whiskey was available only in Iowa until 2007. Now it’s creeping across the country, city by city. Hope it comes officially to my neck of the woods — this is possibly the best rye I’ve ever sampled.
Update: This is now bottled with a 4 Year Old age statement.