If you’re an avid reader here at Barrel and Brew, you know we like our rye whiskey, especially an MGP rye. So, today we’re bringing another MGP rye review to the table with Templeton Rye Whiskey aged 4 years. Templeton is a very popular brand with an interesting story. We’ll cover the whiskey, their history, the trouble they’ve been in, and their plans to change. For any of this info, just keep reading our Templeton Rye Whiskey Review.
Templeton Rye Whiskey History
The small town of Templeton, Iowa traces it’s strong connection with whiskey back to prohibition. During these years, bootleggers were producing a lot of rye whiskey. Apparently, the whiskey coming out of Templeton caught the attention of American gangster Al Capone which led to increased notoriety for the bootlegged whiskey coming out of the Midwest.
Templeton Rye wasn’t founded until 2006, however, and it didn’t take them long to get into trouble. They had to settle multiple law suits for misleading labeling. Their bottles donned “prohibition-era recipe” even though the whiskey is sourced from MGP in Indiana. They also failed to mention on their bottles that the whiskey was distilled in Indiana, not Iowa.
This trouble may have caused them to make some changes, though. Templeton built their own distillery which opened up in 2018 with plans to distill, bottle, and produce in-house whiskey. While they aimed to be fully self-sufficient by 2022, they are still using whiskey from MGP, or Ross & Squibb now.
Templeton Rye Whiskey Overview
- Spirit: Rye whiskey
- Owned By: Templeton Rye Spirits, LLC
- Distilled By: MGP / Ross & Squibb
- Aged: 4 years
- ABV: 40%, 80 Proof
- Mash bill: 95% rye, 5 % malted barley
As we just mentioned, Templeton Rye whiskey is distilled at MGP, now named Ross & Squibb. However, I’m really looking forward to trying their whiskey once they begin releasing their own distillate. Templeton has been marketing itself as a prohibition-era whiskey from a small, strong town of good people. They do this even though it’s really just the name and location of their business that’s connected to Templeton, Iowa. Soon we’ll get to see what whiskey from this small Iowa town really tastes like.
It’s not a bad thing that the whiskey is from MGP – that’s where most of my favorite rye comes from. Things just feel less authentic when the reality doesn’t match the marketing at all. Regardless of all that, this seems to be a standard rye whiskey. It’s aged four years, has a very standard mash bill, and is bottled at a very typical 80 proof.
Templeton Rye 4 Yr Tasting Notes
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, it’s time to answer the real questions. Is Templeton Rye good? What does it taste like? Let’s pour ourselves a glass and find out!
Nose: There’s some rye spice along with some much sweeter vanilla notes. Pecan, cinnamon and oak – borderline leather – round out the nose. Ice seems to bring out more of the sweet vanilla notes.
Taste: It’s easy and dry on the palate. Honey and light pepper along with some rye spice are most prominent here. Ice can bring out some mint flavors that weren’t as prominent on the rocks.
Finish: Fairly short finish. Light pepper quickly fades away with a honey undertone.
No one’s going to say Templeton Rye is the best on the market. It lacks some depth and complexity, it’s not exactly thick and rich, nor is it the most flavorful. It’s also not thin and cheap and the flavor it does have isn’t bad either. It’s an easy, inoffensive sip that is probably a decent introduction to rye whiskey. This is not something I’d pour for a seasoned whiskey drinker, but it’s not bad to have around for a friend that doesn’t really drink whiskey but will.
Templeton Rye is a bit sweeter than other rye whiskey, so if you are looking for a bit more spice, you should drink it neat. I typically like my whiskey on rocks, but this is an easy enough sip to be enjoyed neat. Ice made the vanilla and honey sweetness more prominent as well as brought some mint into the picture.
Templeton Rye 4 Yr Price
Price often has the biggest or 2nd biggest influence on our buying decisions. When it comes to whiskey, and appreciating whiskey, we’re not looking for the cheapest option that’s decent. We’re looking to see if the money matches the quality and the taste/our preferences. Let’s take a look at how much Templeton Rye costs. As a note, we pull our prices from various Total Wine stores across the country to determine an average price range.
Templeton Rye 4yr Whiskey Price: $26-31
Templeton Rye is a basic, easy whiskey of medium quality. It is the epitome of a solid starter whiskey. $30, give or take a couple bucks, is usually the starting price of where we begin to drink whiskey neat or on the rocks. Templeton Rye, then, is priced exactly where it should be. It’s good enough and easy enough to be enjoyed neat, it’s also a great price to use in mixed drinks and cocktails.
Templeton Rye Whiskey Selection
While Templeton has only made rye whiskey up to this point, they do have multiple selections to choose from. Our review is only on their base 4 yr bottle, but we figured we’d at least touch upon the other ones in case you want something a little nice or different.
- Templeton 6 Yr: Their original whiskey aged 6 years instead of 4.
- Templeton 10 Yr Reserve: At 104 proof, this rye is aged a decade and hand selected from single barrels.
- Templeton Barrel Strength: A 2022 release, this is Templeton’s original whiskey bottled out of the barrel without being cut to proof.
- Templeton Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish: The original 6 yr whiskey aged an extra 9 months in Oloroso Sherry casks. Sherry casks are known to add notes of dark fruits, chocolate, and candied nuts.
Templeton Rye Whiskey Summary
I respect Templeton Rye Whiskey – from a whiskey standpoint and a company one, too. While they’ve had some recent troubles with their shady marketing in the past, they are committed to releasing whiskey distilled in Templeton, Iowa. I, along with many others, are ready for those bottles to be released.
The whiskey itself is average. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has a niche and it fills it. Templeton Rye 4 Yr is a beginners rye whiskey. You don’t want to turn someone away from rye by giving them a unique whiskey that they may hate. Let them enjoy a glass or two of Templeton until they find out what flavors and style they like. There are so many rye whiskeys out there that I like more, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the couple glasses of Templeton Rye that I had.
I won’t go pick out Templeton for myself, but if it shows up in front of me, I won’t deny it either. If you’re looking for a special rye whiskey, our favorite is Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye.