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nydistiller
01-19-2008, 08:03
Has anyone tried Templeton rye? I have not been able to try it, or find out if it is malted rye, rye and barley malt or a corn, rye, and malt mix.

cowdery
01-19-2008, 16:13
We've been all over this, at length. Just use Templeton as your search term and you'll find plenty to read. Probably the main thread is this one (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5360&highlight=Templeton), but there are others.

The bottom line, though, is that the only Templeton Rye you can buy now was not made at Templeton. It was made by one of the usual suspects, but Scott Bush (the guy who owns Templeton) isn't saying which one, and he's doing everything short of actually lying to make people believe he made this stuff. Presumably he is making and barreling his own goods now for the future, but none of that has reached the market yet.

tmoreau
01-27-2008, 10:06
I stopped at an unfamiliar liquor store recently and discovered a bottle of Templeton Rye. They had a really small selection of whiskey, so I decided to take this one home.

Glad I did!

The first thing I noticed was the nose, I can literally pour a glass and enjoy it from across the table. This rye is wholly unlike any other whiskey I have tried, being very sweet and aromatic with no bite to speak of. Its mildness is quite comparable to Glenlivet 12yr, while the aroma is very much like Angostura bitters.

4yr Mitchers Rye, in comparison, bites like an alligator and has a more subdued flavor.

I have noticed cowdery is pretty bitter about the undisclosed distiller of this first batch, but frankly I don't care where it was made. Check this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7094&highlight=templeton) for another look at Templeton.

ILLfarmboy
01-27-2008, 11:01
Templeton Rye is now widely available on the ILL. side of the river. I've spotted it in Moline, Galesburg, and Peoria, but at 35 to 36 bucks a pop. Ouch!

I've had one bottle. Neat it was to weak, but in an Old Fashioned minus the added Tbs. of water it was quite good. in fact that's how most of that bottle was consumed.

To be honest, even at only 80 proof it's got nearly as much flavor as the new WT RR Rye at 90 proof and in my opinion a better flavor at that. Its just, well, a weak 80 proof and its expensive.

tmoreau
01-27-2008, 11:14
I found it in a small town about 40 miles west of Chicago for $28 including tax. I've since seen it at Binny's for $35, which does seem steep.

cowdery
01-27-2008, 13:05
I guess I'm just a grumpy old man. Bitter too.

I'm also suspicious of people who appear here and tout specific products on their first visit, looking like part of a viral marketing effort.

I tasted the Templeton rye at the same time Gary did and had a similar opinion. It's a tasty rye whiskey. Whoever made it--and we know it wasn't Templeton--did a good job. Is it better than Rittenhouse, Sazerac, Wild Turkey (either one), Jim Beam or Old Overholt, at two to three times the price? No way. And we know exactly who made all of those.

The reality is simple, for Templeton, High West, and the others who are doing this, and their fans. Get around these facts if you can:

Over the last 20 years, five American distilleries have made rye whiskey. One of them, Anchor, can be set aside because they make very small quantities of a very idiosyncratic spirit that has very little to do with the tradition of American straight rye whiskey. The other four are Heaven Hill (using, at the moment, Brown-Forman's distillery), Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace (Sazerac) and Jim Beam. That's it. Those are the usual suspects. The Templeton Rye had to have been made by one of those four. Most likely the High West was too.

Some of the very old ryes on the market today were made more than 20 years ago at the Medley Distillery in Owensboro and at the old Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, so there are two more suspects, but that's it. Any fully-aged rye whiskey on the market today has to come from one of those sources. That unavoidable fact is the reason why people like High West and Templeton aren't saying who made their whiskey. It's not only because they want you to think they made it. It's also because then it becomes easy to say, "Oh, that's Heaven Hill's rye?" Well, you can pay $35 for it in a bottle that says 'Templeton,' or you can pay $12 for it in a bottle that says 'Rittenhouse,' which would you prefer?

I'm all for this micro-distiller thing, but when it seems like all of the characters are coming out of the box lying to the consumer, I'm already less than enthusiastic about their next act.

But that's just me. You kids, knock yourselves out.

Old Lamplighter
01-27-2008, 13:53
I guess I'm just a grumpy old man. Bitter too.

I'm also suspicious of people who appear here and tout specific products on their first visit, looking like part of a viral marketing effort.

Well, you can pay $35 for it in a bottle that says 'Templeton,' or you can pay $12 for it in a bottle that says 'Rittenhouse,' which would you prefer?

I'm all for this micro-distiller thing, but when it seems like all of the characters are coming out of the box lying to the consumer, I'm already less than enthusiastic about their next act.

But that's just me. You kids, knock yourselves out.

I hear you.......guess I'm a grumpy old man as well. While I have read about it here, never seen Templeton on the shelf in my wanderings down here in TN. Knowing what I now know about the limited sources of aged rye, it would immediately raise suspicions in my mind when someone touts a totally new source outside of those you so accurately named. However, if I was not armed with the knowledge obtained here, I can see how easy it would be to be duped by such marketing & ad tactics.

Taking it further to a personal basis, I guess I could get even grumpier thinking about what I have spent on a few bottles of 'unknown' origin. In particular, the BMH Rye 18 I own that might very well be the same stuff as (or very close to) VWFRR. Even with the discount I got, it still came out to twice as much as the VW rye. IMHO, VWFRR is by far the best bargain on the rye market right now for what you getting inside - 18/19yo rye for around $40. At the same time though, as you mentioned, Rittenhouse BIB is even a better bargain for the less aged and more lively rye. I hope it does not see a big price increase in the days to come due to popularity attained in the last couple of years.

ILLfarmboy
01-27-2008, 15:07
I bought my bottle from the Hy-Vee wine and spirits in Davenport, Iowa back last March or early April. The store manager started to give me the spiel about "Templeton's prohibition era recipe". He had obviously been told what to say. I corrected him, told him that what was being sold was bulk whiskey sourced from somewhere else and that according to what I knew Templeton did plan on eventually selling its own distillate sometime in the future. And then I directed him to this site. He looked almost dumbfounded.

Its horse s___ that a company flat out lies about the provenience of its product. But I can understand why they did it. When confronted with BS I tend to call people on it. Like my Dad always says Its my mouth that gets me into trouble. But it is what it is.

Not that what Beam or WT does is any way near as bad as a flat out lie, but unless you are "in the know" you would never know Knob Creek is made by Beam. I don't have a bottle here at home, but I think it says on the back label something about the "Knob Creek distillery". There is no such thing. The WT RR Rye and the WT RR 90 have removed all reference to Wild Turkey. You have to know who Jimmy and Eddie Russell are, or that the Austin Nichols Distilling Company located in Lawrenceburg is Wild Turkey to know that its a Wild Turkey product. I rather doubt that the average consumer knows the truth about Russell's Reserve any more than they know that the story behind Templeton is a complete fabrication.

I hope to try some of Templeton's own rye someday. but until then I don't plan on buying another bottle. In the mean time I wish them success, if only for selfish reasons.

cowdery
01-27-2008, 15:30
While you're absolutely right about the average consumer, at least those companies, among other things, list all the brands they make on their web sites and in their press kits, so while it may not be on the label, it's not like pulling teeth to get to the truth, like it is with the Templetons and High Wests of the world.

barturtle
01-27-2008, 15:50
Okay, so everyone wants to moan about the fact that this is whiskey from the usual suspects in a fancy bottle at a mark up...so what?

While it may be sourced from the usual suspects, we don't know whom that is, nor if it has been aged slightly longer or is presented at a different proof (lower is a different proof), or even selected for a different profile than you would get otherwise. You don't know until you taste it.

The main reason for buying more of the usual suspects? Because that's the only way to support these upstarts who will one day be putting out a unique product. If they couldn't buy whiskey from the usual suspects to see them through until their stock comes online, they are unlikely to bankroll the investment to get going in the first place...and then we'd be stuck with another boutique vodka...

ILLfarmboy
01-27-2008, 15:51
.... so while it may not be on the label, it's not like pulling teeth to get to the truth, like it is with the Templetons and High Wests of the world.

Point well taken, Chuck. There's nothing like having someone give you the run around or dancing around a direct question to get the 'ol Irish up!

cowdery
01-27-2008, 18:05
Okay, so everyone wants to moan about the fact that this is whiskey from the usual suspects in a fancy bottle at a mark up...so what?

While it may be sourced from the usual suspects, we don't know whom that is, nor if it has been aged slightly longer or is presented at a different proof (lower is a different proof), or even selected for a different profile than you would get otherwise. You don't know until you taste it.

The main reason for buying more of the usual suspects? Because that's the only way to support these upstarts who will one day be putting out a unique product. If they couldn't buy whiskey from the usual suspects to see them through until their stock comes online, they are unlikely to bankroll the investment to get going in the first place...and then we'd be stuck with another boutique vodka...

No disagreement except for one thing. I don't want to do business with somebody who inaugurates the relationship by trying to mislead me, and who won't really tell me what it is he's trying to sell me. When somebody plays me like that, I lose interest in their future efforts. Woodford Reserve, for example, while they didn't exactly trumpet where the whiskey was made in the early days (i.e., the same problem a Templeton or a High West faces), the information was always there and if you asked them, they told you. I see no reason why Templeton, High West and the rest of these start-ups can't do the same thing. If we overlook their lying to us now, what will they do to us in the future?

barturtle
01-27-2008, 18:39
No disagreement except for one thing. I don't want to do business with somebody who inaugurates the relationship by trying to mislead me, and who won't really tell me what it is he's trying to sell me. When somebody plays me like that, I lose interest in their future efforts. Woodford Reserve, for example, while they didn't exactly trumpet where the whiskey was made in the early days (i.e., the same problem a Templeton or a High West faces), the information was always there and if you asked them, they told you. I see no reason why Templeton, High West and the rest of these start-ups can't do the same thing. If we overlook their lying to us now, what will they do to us in the future?

While this is true, we have forgiven others for not telling us sources:

Julian with the original Pappy 23 and Rye
Ezra Brooks

They may even be under contractual obligation to not say...I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I look forward to trying their juice.

tmoreau
01-27-2008, 19:37
So if Templeton is practically a re-bottling of something else on the market, what? Or what did they do to make it unique? I'm curious about how that works. I guess the timeline prohibits it from being contract distilled, right?

cowdery
01-27-2008, 20:44
Timothy, different standards for old friends than for people we've just met, I guess, and there's nothing wrong with that. But your point is taken.

tmoreau, the problem is, we don't really know because they won't tell us, but if they had a great and true story to tell, don't you think they would?

Yeah, the timeline rules out contract distilling.

Rughi
01-28-2008, 10:21
it becomes easy to say, "Oh, that's Heaven Hill's rye?" Well, you can pay $35 for it in a bottle that says 'Templeton,' or you can pay $12 for it in a bottle that says 'Rittenhouse,' which would you prefer?

Indeed, it is easy.

Both

As long as I think that a particularly good barrel or vatting is on offer, then I'm in. It's the skillful crafting of a final product that I'm buying, not a commodity calculation of what it "should" cost.

To take your example, I'm interested in the variety of flavors hidden away in the vast storage of the HH rickhouses that are usually blended out to just one or a few profiles. If Parker Beam puts out a high end selected profile then I'm in. If HH delivers a good set of barrels to a startup with which they can create their own profile then I'm also in.

Now, if the juice in the bottle is lackluster or an identical profile to the mothership, then I'm disappointed...

Roger

cowdery
01-28-2008, 14:45
Exactly right, which is why they shouldn't be scared to tell us what it is. If they won't, then it's a pretty good bet that it's undistinguished commodity whiskey in a fancy bottle at an inflated price.

As for being contractually bound not to disclose the source, while possible I don't think that's really the issue. One reason I say that is because I've never heard of any producer making such a demand, and there's really no reason why they should.