Why Rye?

As the original American spirit, rye whiskey is the principal ingredient in several famous cocktails – including the Manhattan, the Sazerac and the Old Fashioned. Strong yet splendid, rye whiskey has undergone a major resurgence around the world, based on its rare combination of bold, almost spicy character and clean, smooth finish.

The Production Process

Only dedication to the entire process can achieve the proper balance that gives Templeton Rye its great rye character and surprisingly smooth finish that Jim Murray of the Whiskey Bible described as "a huge, unmistakable rye."

With only a handful in the category of rye whiskey, we strive to be the best among an already unique bunch.

When we decided to resurrect Templeton Rye as a legally available whiskey, we wanted to match the recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff – Keith Kerkhoff's grandfather – as closely as possible. Unfortunately, we found out that we could not match the recipe exactly and still call it Templeton Rye because it would not fit within the federally regulated definition for rye whiskey. Since we couldn’t imagine Templeton Rye not being called a rye, we decided to look around the country for a high-quality rye that tasted like Alphonse Kerkhoff's whiskey.

We found a high quality rye from Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana (now owned by MGP) and sent samples of that rye – along with a bottle produced from Grandpa Kerkhoff's original recipe – to independent third-party experts at Clarendon Engineering in Louisville, Kentucky. These experts formulated the rye recipe, within federal guidelines, to match the taste of the original Prohibition era Kerkhoff recipe.

Meryl and Keith (and some folks from Templeton) tried many versions and selected the one that best-matched Grandpa Kerkhoff's whiskey. Following this recipe is part of the process we perform here in Templeton and is what makes our whiskey unique. Every bottle of Templeton Rye you've ever enjoyed has been made this way in order to match the taste of the Prohibition era whiskey made by Keith's grandfather, Alphonse Kerkhoff, in Templeton, Iowa.

And while the process has changed some since Prohibition, the unyielding attention to detail hasn’t budged.

Download our Tasting Notes below – we even saved some space for you to add your own notes.

Meet the Team

It takes some fine people to make a product as good as Templeton Rye. Get to know them – and you’ll know who to say a little "thank you" to every time you take a sip.