Is it worth the trip from MN to Iowa to get a bottle?
It really is pretty darn good rye.
Much better, on my palate, than many others.
I would caution that you check stock, at your intended source, prior to driving. I'm told that availability is limited and that, at most locations, the product moves off the shelf rapidly.
I'm in Madison, Wisconsin and my friends that visit Iowa know to PLEASE grab me a bottle or two whenever possible.
I don't think you'll be disappointed. Heck, just the fun of the product's history is worth having a bottle!
I've found in New York City without a problem. Discovered later that it isn't made in Iowa, but is made in Indiana along with Redemption, Bulleit, some of High West, and other ryes.
Do you mix with yours? I feel like much of the beauty would be lost save for drinking it neat.
The way I've heard it, it's the popularity in New York, Chicago, etc. markets that has made it much more difficult to get in Iowa these days. There was a phase where I could easily get it in a suburban Chicago liquor store, but a friend tied to the alcoholic beverage industry in Iowa couldn't get it. Supply and demand is a funny thing. :)
I have been known to mix it, but only in a cocktail that's focused on the rye, and only if I have a decent-sized stash at the time, so it's pretty rare. I generally prefer it neat.
Well, the good news is that despite the NPR mention, Templeton Rye is still stocked if you're in Illinois (and close to a Binny's liquor store).
Bad news is I tried it and loved it so much, I bought the last three bottles on the shelf at my local Binnys a few hours ago (however it is in stock at other Binny's if you're in Illinois -- $37.99 a bottle). Hands down, this stuff is the best rye I've had (and, I predict, will soon go the way of Pappy). Seriously -- it's smooth, nicely sweet, and has a great kick on the back end.
I figure it's time to stock up on Templeton.
The Templeton guys do a great job to make it plentiful in the markets they sell it in during December. I just loaded up for the year at my local Sam's Club in Ames, IA for $28.92 a bottle. It is the cheapest I have bought it for since before it became popular in Iowa starting in 2009.
I sent a friend in Detroit a bottle last year and he was floored by it. He reported to me last week he found a bottle in Michigan [near St. Joseph] and was excited to see it. So I jumped on the website and discovered that Templeton Rye now has distributors in 19 states: http://www.templetonrye.com/find/