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Templeton Rye

Is it worth the trip from MN to Iowa to get a bottle?

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  1. 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!

    Drive safe!

    1. 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.


      2 Replies
      1. re: yarm

        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.

        1. re: Wahooty

          It can be surprisingly difficult to find in Iowa, but my mother lives in Southern Iowa and can find it in her local Wal-Mart of all places [and reasonably priced] and keeps me stocked. I, too, prefer it neat, but it plays well with drinks calling for rye.

      2. It will be even more difficult, now that it got a mention on NPR this morning . . .


        1. 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.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobbyrolla

            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.

          2. 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/

            1. Only if you can't find Bulleit rye either. I found them to be very similar. They are both sourced from the same distillery. I have found a source selling Bulleit for half of what I can find Templeton for, so the math is a no-brainer for me.

              10 Replies
              1. re: rcb4d

                Source is the same [LDI], but the actual booze is different to my palate. My limited understanding is that the recipe Templeton has distilled in Indiana is their own formulation[and not Bulleit's]. Interestingly, I am in a liquor control state and Bulleit Rye is more expensive than the home state-aged Templeton [I'm in Iowa].

                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                  Once upon a time, Templeton distilled their rye in Iowa according to their own recipe. That's not what they're selling now. What goes out today comes from LDI/MGP, and is from the same stock as Bulleit - the LDI 95% rye mash bill. It's only bottled in Iowa. There may differences from aging time or blending, but the stock is the same.

                  All that said, I've enjoyed all of the different riffs on the LDI 95% recipe (Templeton, Bulleit, High West, James E. Pepper, Smooth Ambler, Dickel). They're all just a little bit different, but with a familiar tone.

                  1. re: rcb4d

                    My even more limited understanding is that they tried to distill their own rye in Iowa, but were unable to replicate consistent taste [and they readily admit this]. If what you say is true, I got a million dollar idea for you: If you think there is zero difference between Templeton and Bulleit, et al,, then I would buy a bottle for legal standing and then hire a local class action lawyer because Templeton's website represents that their own recipe/formulation is used. LDI stock booze and final recipe formulation are important differences IMHO.

                    1. re: hawkeyeui93

                      Good luck with a lawsuit. The modern whiskey market is rife with marketing misdirection. I guarantee that every byte of information they put out has been cleared by the lawyers.

                      Templeton offers distillery tours. I'd be interested to know how they pitch their process. I recently toured A. Smith Bowman's distillery, where they basically re-distill and barrel juice from BT/Sazerac. The tour guide was great at parroting the "we're a micro-distiller" line, but the lack of grain mill and mash tank were dead give-aways that they're starting with someone else's juice..

                      For a good breakdown of NDPs (non-distiller producers), look here:


                      You'll note that Templeton in particular gets called out for not being forthcoming.

                      More great discussion here:


                      1. re: rcb4d

                        I've read it all [your two links] in the past and in being a lawyer for 15-plus years, if Templeton Rye is exactly as it is produced from LDi's base rye with nothing else [and exactly like Bulleit Rye], then you would have a viable suit. The owner(s) clearly represent that it is made from a recipe it acquired from someone that made rye whisk(e)y illegally during the Prohibition-era in Templeton, Iowa. Maybe other ryes are cheaper as you allege in the start of this discussion [and thus better], which I appreciate your opinion by the way, it does not hold true in my corner of Iowa. I can buy Templeton for under $30 and Bulleit Rye is over $30 at the liquor retailers where I reside [a college town of 50K residents]. I was able to buy Bulleit Bourbon for a few weeks last summer at a Costco for $19.99 a fifth, but the next time I went to stock up, it rose to $24.99.

                        Here's the information for the hypothetical suit I suggested: http://templetonrye.com/wp-content/th...

                        1. re: hawkeyeui93

                          I think Templeton and Bulleit are both excellent. Just an FYI - the place that ships me Bulleit for $19.99 also ships to Iowa. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the details...

                          So I pulled out my bottle of Templeton last night, and here's the giveaway for me. It says "Produced and Bottled by Templeton Rye Spirits LLC" - nothing about where or by whom it was distilled. A quick survey of other bottles gives me a good idea that folks who distill their own product make a point to mention it. Folks who don't use works like "produced" which can mean a lot of things - they blend it with other product, do some creative aging process (rum or sherry casks), or cut down the proof (Templeton is 80, Bulleit is 90).

                          The marketing lore that Templeton spins may be some truth, maybe be complete fiction.

                          "Our master distillers utilize the original Kerkhoff family recipe" - but we won't reveal that recipe, because it might match LDI/MGP's exact recipe too.

                          "While we grow some rye grain locally, we source from the united states, canada and europe to ensure we’re using only the finest ingredients." It just so happens that's where LDI/MGP sources their grain from too. And isn't Iowa corn country? How much rye is actually grown - and how would we ever know if said rye makes it into the mash?

                          See where I'm headed with this?

                          1. re: rcb4d

                            I'm not sure if we can get spirits shipped into Iowa due to it being a liquor control state, but I intend to get another bottle of Bulleit Rye the next time I travel out of state and to a more competitive market. In terms of being able to grow rye in Iowa, it would be entirely possible especially since they did so in the 1920's-1930's to make the original hooch. The bigger issue is that Iowa has become a two crop agricultural state [soybeans and field corn]. Everything that can fully grow between mid-May and late-September to early-October grows in some of the country's best soil and adequate precipitation. The representation I have heard is that LDI makes their actual recipe, it is shipped to Western Iowa, and subsequently aged and bottled in Templeton, Iowa. If you find out otherwise, please let me know and I will switch to Dickel Rye [or some rye].

                            1. re: hawkeyeui93

                              Here is LDI's 95% rye recipe:


                              Their full offering is here:


                              The don't do custom recipes, that I can tell. They distill a base spirit according to one of those recipes listed. The NDP then does any further adulteration and aging.

                              Dickel is an LDI rye too. Is that your cheapest LDI option in Iowa?

                              1. re: rcb4d

                                I think Dickel Rye is in the $25 range ....

                                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                  Prices on Dickel rye are all over the place, it is $25 here in NC, $30 in Atlanta, and I got some in Myrtle beach for $18.