A few weeks ago we got an email from the folks at Templeton asking if we would like to give their rye whiskey a run. Of course, since both Sean and I love rye, we had them send a couple of bottles our way.
Once my bottle got here, I was taken by two things. First, the label on the whiskey touts it as a “prohibition era recipe.” The back label tells the story of how Templeton Rye became a favorite of Al Capone and became a centerpiece of his bootlegging empire. The second thing that stood out was the aroma.
On the nose, this whiskey smells of caramel, toffee, citrus, banana and that unmistakenly spicey aroma of rye. There is no alcohol burn on the aroma just sweet sweet whiskey.
So it smells good, but how the hell does it taste? Sipped neat, the 80 proof rye brings plenty of flavor. Toffee and caramel (just like the nose) are prevalent and there is a floral quality on the finish, almost like elderflowers. There is certainly the robustness of a good whiskey, yet there is no burn on the finish at all. Over ice, the oakiness of the rye seems to jump to the fore.
I haven’t used the Templeton to mix very many cocktails. I did use the Templeton with a little simple syrup and a few dashes of my homemade bitters (more on those soon!) – pretty much an old fashioned whiskey cocktail without the muddled fruit salad. It was quite delicious!
One thing to keep in mind with the Templeton Rye is that it certainly isn’t as spicey as most ryes on the market. The only other rye I have with a similar spice level is the Ri1. However, the Templeton is heads and shoulders above the Ri1 in my opinion.
Templeton is just now starting to be distributed further than their home base in Iowa. Check their website for current locations. If you can find it, I highly recommend Templeton.