Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Wedding and Rye

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Josh Mozena of Peoria, Arizona, shared this great story and photos with us from his Templeton Rye toast with his groomsmen on his wedding day.

I wanted to share this story and some pictures with you to show my appreciation for “The Good Stuff” on our memorable day.

My wife Sarah and I live in Peoria, AZ, but were both born and raised in Dubuque, IA. We got married this past May in Dubuque. As the day was approaching I was trying to think of something memorable to do with my groomsmen. I chose to do a toast to the guys that were sharing this day with me, and I wanted to toast with a drink that had roots in Iowa, the same as all the men in our wedding. I chose Templeton Rye.

I must say one of the toughest parts of preparing for our wedding was trying to find a bottle of Templeton Rye. After driving around town for an afternoon I remembered a friend of mine worked at the Hy-Vee liquor department and might be my last chance. We discovered right away when we walked in the store that they were, of course, out of Templeton Rye. I asked my friend when they usually get their shipment in, but he was uncertain if they had any coming in before our wedding on Saturday. Fate was on our side, as he called me Friday morning and had a bottle waiting for me. I was set.

I want to let you know that I did get to do my toast, as you’ll see in the pictures. My initial thought was to never take a drink from the bottle again, but now that I see how much is left, I’ve decided to I’ll take a shot from it for the milestone anniversaries of our special day, while I take in all the memories.

I’d like to thank you for the memories and those to come with my bottle of Templeton Rye.


Josh Mozena

Congratulations to Josh and Sarah Mozena. Thanks for toasting with “The Good Stuff” on your wedding day and for sharing these special memories with us. We wish you many more special memories to come. Cheers!

Good guard dog

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Kate Giannini of Highland Hideaway Hunting in Riverside, Iowa, sent us this photo of her German Shorthaired Pointer, Gauge. Kate tells us that Templeton is widely consumed at their hunting lodge, and clients often request that they have bottles on hand when they stay. The barrel that Gauge is guarding is from a recent Pheasants Forever meeting that was being held at the lodge and was awaiting the Washington County Pheasants Forever Chapter to pick it up.

Meet Templeton and Rye

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Erica and Jake Hennes of Humboldt Park, Illinois, sent us this great photo of their cat and dog, Templeton and Rye, after we ran into them at the 11th Annual WhiskeyFest in Chicago. Erica and Jake are such big fans of Templeton Rye whiskey that they named their beloved cat and dog after The Good Stuff.

Erica’s love for whiskey has inspired more than her pets’ names. She also creates handmade whiskey and wine bags and home accessories through her company HenBec Decor, drawing inspiration from the rustic elements of distilling and wine making and her love for finely made spirits. Be sure to check out her designs in the HenBec Decor Etsy shop.

B.J. Hoffman’s winning Templeton Rye Barbeque Chicken recipe

Friday, August 20th, 2010


We at Templeton Rye would like to congratulate B.J. Hoffman for winning the 2010 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest with his The Good Stuff Barbeque Chicken Thighs recipe. B.J. used Templeton Rye as a part of his winning recipe and as the theme for his presentation, including a custom Templeton Rye table that he build himself using 144 of our story coasters. We have to say B.J., we knew you would win. You can’t go wrong with The Good Stuff!




Meryl Kerkhoff, 1929-2010

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Dear friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to tell you that we have lost Templeton Rye Master Distiller Meryl Kerkhoff. Meryl died at Manning Hospital, surrounded by his family. I really struggle to put into words how much we all admired this great man. He will be missed dearly.

Meryl was a child of the Depression, born a mile from our current distillery in Templeton in 1929 to Alphonse and Frances (Bluml) Kerkhoff. He attended Sacred Heart School in Templeton and graduated in 1946. Meryl fought in Korea for two years and went on to a successful career as a farmer and auctioneer. He and his wife Imelda had seven children and 14 grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Ohde Funeral Home in Manning, Iowa.

Meryl had a presence that was unmistakable. He was a true gentleman and a man of great stature, both in size and in character. I will always remember how his huge hands, strengthened by a lifetime of farming, would totally engulf those of anyone who would shake them. He dressed well, yet modestly, and had his signature Templeton Rye cap slightly tilted, or “a little cocky” as he would say.


Meryl had a sense of humor and his own language that greatly amused the rest of our team. A nice place was “Uptown” and when things were going well we were “Cadillacing.” He was a caring man who was always excited to see you and would ask, “So, how’ve things been going?” Meryl was a patient man and was more likely to listen than to talk. He gave Keith and I great advice over the years and was always very thorough about issues that impacted our company.

Obviously things will continue at Templeton Rye and Keith has been handling the day-to-day duties for sometime. Genetics are a powerful thing I guess, as I look at what I have written about Meryl, I could very well be describing Keith.

Please keep Meryl, Imelda, Keith and all of the Kerkhoff family in your thoughts and prayers.

At Meryl’s request, we got together a couple of weeks ago to record Meryl, Keith and I reminiscing about some of our experiences with the company. We video taped a portion of the discussion which can be seen below.

Scott Bush, President, Templeton Rye


ABOVE: A pair of legends. Templeton Rye Master Distillery Meryl Kerkhoff with Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell.




La Quercia – another quality Iowa product aging gracefully

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Scott Bush, Herb Eckhouse and Michael Killmer at La Quercia in Norwalk, Iowa

We recently visited one of our favorite Iowa companies, La Quercia in Norwalk, Iowa, producers of premium quality American prosciutto and other products. Our friends Herb and Kathy Eckhouse founded the company because they knew they could make a world class product right here in Iowa. La Quercia has been incredibly successful to date and has shocked many of the taste makers in their industry. Their product takes a long time to produce, and they have had trouble keeping up with demand because they have refused to sacrifice quality. If some of this sounds familiar, you will understand why we, and especially Mr. Killmer, are big fans of La Quercia.

Please check them out at www.laquercia.us and on Facebook.



Distinguished guests at the Templeton Rye Distillery

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010


Keith and I had the privilege to host some very special visitors at the distillery on Monday, February 15th. Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood and Captain Chris Johnson of the Iowa National Guard didn’t let mother nature ruin their trip to the Templeton Rye Distillery on President’s Day. Lieutenant Colonel Hapgood recently returned from Kuwait, and Captain Johnson is getting ready to leave on his fourth deployment, returning to Afghanistan in the fall. On behalf of everyone at Templeton Rye, we thank you and all of the men and women of the armed forces for doing what you do and giving us the freedom to do what we do. God bless you all, and we will see you soon!


Hard to find? Or just not looking in the right places?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010


Hey folks, Jason Walsmith here. “Hard to find, just not looking in the right places.” This was a text I received from a friend last week accompanied by the above image. I replied, “Where did you find all that TR?” and he said “In the dining room of my restaurant.” I will keep the location anonymous, so they aren’t ransacked in the middle of the night by thirsty Templeton Rye fans, but I would like to use this as an illustration that there is Templeton Rye out there – you just have to look for it, and luckily, our fans know that Templeton Rye tastes better when shared. By now, everyone is getting into the habit of checking the shelves of the stores where they procure their whiskey. At any time, if you see a few bottles on the shelves, you mentally check your inventory and pick up a bottle if you’re running low. You might buy two bottles, so you can give one to a friend as a gift and save one for that special occasion that’s coming up.

One of the biggest trends we continue to see on Facebook and Twitter amongst Templeton Rye fans is their willingness to help other fans find The Good Stuff. If you’re on Twitter, you might have noticed Templeton Rye Twitter fans using what’s called a hashtag in their updates that looks like this: #TRspotting(s). This hashtag tells Templeton Rye fans that they’ve spotted a bottle (or multiple bottles) of Templeton Rye at their local grocery or liquor store. Sometimes fans even include photos in their tweets to prove that it’s on the shelves. The same trend has carried over to Facebook, allowing fans of our Facebook fan page to easily locate Templeton Rye when their stock is running low.


These days, if a person finds more than one bottle at any given location, they might feel inclined to buy it all. I understand that many of you are afraid that we might run out, and you won’t be able to get your supply of “The Good Stuff.” I just want to remind you that we will not run out. We have a steady and growing supply. I would also like to remind you that Templeton Rye does indeed taste better when shared. That applies to a single bottle amongst friends, or leaving a bottle or two behind the next time you find the motherload at your retailer of choice. It’s kind of like leaving a pile of dry firewood at the campsite in the woods for the next cold and wet campers that happen upon it in need of warmth. Spread the love.

Jason Walsmith

50th anniversary of Lakers’ miracle corn field landing in Carroll, Iowa

Friday, January 22nd, 2010


This week marks the 50th anniversary of the miracle Minneapolis Lakers corn field landing in Carroll, Iowa. On January 17, 1960, the Minneapolis Lakers departed St. Louis after losing to the St. Louis Hawks 135-119. Shortly after takeoff, the DC-3 charter plane began experiencing electrical problems, and eventually lost all electricity, including the fuel gauge. Unable to turn back because of air traffic in St. Louis, the plane flew for three to four hours above a massive winter storm. Eventually the plane started to veer off-course and the pilots decided they were going to have to make an emergency landing. Co-pilots Vernon Ullman and Harold Gifford managed to catch sight of Highway 71 in the snowstorm and land safely in a corn field (the Emma Steffes farm).

Carroll resident John Steffes, whose parents owned the farm where the plane landed, described the story behind the landing on Mouth of Midwest on 1700 the Champ this week. Listen to John’s story here. After landing on the Emme Steffes farm, the players were transported to a hotel in Carroll. The pilots and team were pretty shaken up by the whole incident, and rumor has it that one of the players ripped off the liquor cabinet door at the hotel and poured himself a big glass of whiskey. “The Good Stuff” perhaps?

On January 17th, 2010, the good people of Carroll, Iowa, remembered the miracle landing of the Minneapolis Lakers 50th anniversary with a ceremony. A monument was unveiled by 86-year old co-pilot Harold Gifford in Carroll’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, less than 100 yards from where the plane stopped.

Read more on about the Lakers landing in Carroll:
Valiant efforts saved Lakers – Omaha World-Herald
Happy anniversary: Lakers survive crash – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Iowa Landing Was ‘Magic’ for the Lakers – Daily Yonder
50 years ago today: Lakers narrowly avert disaster – ESPN.com

Terry’s bottle of The Good Stuff

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009


Terry Wessel of Carpentersville, Illinois, shared his story with us about a bottle of The Good Stuff that was gifted to him by his good friend Don Burkett of Algonquin, Illinois, in celebration of Terry’s recovery after a successful but serious heart surgery. Don is an amateur photographer who enjoys sharing his vision and experiences with others. He wanted the bottle of Templeton Rye to develop some character before giving it to Terry, so he took it on a road trip and documented the bottle’s adventures, sending the photos to Terry during his recovery.

Below are few photos from the bottle’s adventures. Follow the entire journey of Terry’s bottle and see more images from Don’s galleries here. We’re glad to hear that Terry is feeling better and wish him a full recovery.

“The boys at the Carpentersville Fire Department thought this whole thing was great fun and contributed both the equipment and some great ideas to the project.” – Don Burkett

“Since rye whiskey is aged in charred oak barrels, I couldn’t resit a shot with the bottle sitting inside the hollow of an old tree.” – Don Burkett

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