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The Rebirth of Rye Whiskey


LostBottle
This topic has been inactive for at least 365 days, and is now closed. Please feel free to start a new thread on the subject! 

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UncleJohnsBarrel

For what it's worth, I give credit to WR if they are really going to wait until 2016 to release their rye after it ages a little. With Jack (not gonna touch the JAck/COLA issue here) and other brands coming out with rye in the form of white dog, I respect WR resisting the market trend and being willing to age their rye for what I assume they feel is a sufficient amount of time (at least 4 years it sounds like).

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HighInTheMtns
For what it's worth, I give credit to WR if they are really going to wait until 2016 to release their rye after it ages a little. With Jack (not gonna touch the JAck/COLA issue here) and other brands coming out with rye in the form of white dog, I respect WR resisting the market trend and being willing to age their rye for what I assume they feel is a sufficient amount of time (at least 4 years it sounds like).

I haven't thought about that but I agree. It's interesting especially considering that these are both Brown-Forman brands.

Maybe this belongs in the White Dog thread, but I think the choice is either unaged or >4 years. No major distiller is going to come out with a rye that is aged but doesn't qualify to be NAS; the competition in that range is not very expensive.

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Isn't that a lark? The templeton guy says the story is so good you can't make it up when in fact the whole story is made up.

I'll wait for the WR stuff.

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I like that NPR seemed to have done their homework for this story. They nail the fact that Templeton Rye is contract produced by someone other than Templeton and they informed us about the back story. I will also add that while I do not care for Woodford bourbon, it is cool they are laying down barrels and waiting for them to age rather than releasing young "artisinal" rye.

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Well I have been drinking more rye lately, my favorite being EH Taylor rye BIB. old tyme rye taste and is well worth the $65 price tag

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I was excited to hear about a WR rye as well. Hopefully they will put a bit more age on that one. There are a lot of ryes on the shelves right now, but they are all in the 4-6 age range, and a lot are a really high % of rye. For the sake of variety I'd like to see a 'regular' release with a little more age on it, maybe 8-10.

Templeton rye, by the way, is everywhere in Iowa now. For a long time you couldn't get a bottle, now you can get it at gas stations and Walgreens. They've also changed the back label from a hand-written batch and bottle number to a silly 'endorsement' from some progeny of Al Capone. Looks like now that the market is flooded with similar quality rye whiskey they're doubling down on Capone. I haven't had a bottle in a couple of years so I can't comment on the taste of the current batches.

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I don't make it my mission to get up in arms anytime somebody writes a puff piece about Templeton or Michter's or any of the other Potemkins. I've put the information out there. Anybody who does five minutes worth of research will find it. If they can't be bothered, screw 'em. I don't care that much. This is especially the lazy season for that kind of journalism. Chicago Tribune did it too recently. Caveat Emptor.

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I don't make it my mission to get up in arms anytime somebody writes a puff piece about Templeton or Michter's or any of the other Potemkins. I've put the information out there. Anybody who does five minutes worth of research will find it. If they can't be bothered, screw 'em. I don't care that much. This is especially the lazy season for that kind of journalism. Chicago Tribune did it too recently. Caveat Emptor.

Chuck, how is the article a "puff piece" or lazy journalism? Did you actually read it? It was plainly called out that Templeton Rye is distilled at another facility in Shelbyville, Indiana and only the actual bottling takes place at the Templeton, Iowa facility - it could not have been made much clearer. The audio segment, and accompanying transcript, also pointed out the fact that this rye has a backstory that was exploited for marketing purposes. I understand that you did not write the article, but that fact does not automatically invalidate it.

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Chuck, how is the article a "puff piece" or lazy journalism? Did you actually read it? It was plainly called out that Templeton Rye is distilled at another facility in Shelbyville, Indiana and only the actual bottling takes place at the Templeton, Iowa facility - it could not have been made much clearer. The audio segment, and accompanying transcript, also pointed out the fact that this rye has a backstory that was exploited for marketing purposes. I understand that you did not write the article, but that fact does not automatically invalidate it.

Not Chuck, but.....

The fact that they can't get the location of the distillery screams lazy journalism....there is no distillery in or near Shelbyville IN.....the distillery is in Lawrenceburg, IN.

The article also promotes the Templeton myth of a secret recipe rather than bottling bulk LDI/MGP rye.

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A secret family recipe which cannot be true of a product sourced from LDI, facts easily verified. And the article repeats that canard about this stuff being Al Capone's favorite. Please, we're expected to believe a man who was a millionaire and who had the World's finest Wines, Champagnes, Cognacs and Whiskies at his fingertips instead sent his henchmen out into the boondocks (to a land far, far away from Chicago) just to satisfy his craving for some day old hooch? Not bloody likely.

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A secret family recipe which cannot be true of a product sourced from LDI, facts easily verified.

Then please verify said facts and report back with the evidence.

Here is what SourMashManifesto said on that issue:

"Templeton confirms that the whiskey is greater than 90% rye grain with the remainder being malted barley. Interestingly LDI has a stock rye whiskey mashbill that is 95% rye. This is the juice that Bulleit, Redemption, and many others use in their products. It’s likely to me that Templeton Rye Whiskey is 95% rye based on this but that is only an assumption on my part."

Cowdery said:

"We don't know it's not a custom job. we only know what we know and based on what we know it's very unlikely that it's a custom job."

So, it seems that while Templeton is probably just standard MGP/LDI juice, this cannot actually be verified and can only be called speculation. Should NPR have reported on speculation?

Edited by LostBottle
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Squire, should we ever meet, I'll buy us both a round of Templeton so we can deride it together and at least agree on that.

Edited by LostBottle
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HighInTheMtns

MGP lists details about everything they make on their website. They're not making custom mashbills for the two Diageo brands they supply, they're not doing so for Willett, they're not doing so for High West. Speculation that they are making a custom mashbill for Templeton is on shakier ground than is speculation that they're not.

Squire, should we ever meet, I'll buy us both a round of Templeton so we can deride it together and at least agree on that.

This made me laugh.

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Since the sale and new openness at MGPI Lawrenceburg (not Shelbyville), we can be pretty sure they haven't been doing custom distilling for anyone. Also, the claim that the whiskey in the bottle now is the same as the whiskey made during Prohibition is false on its face, since that whiskey was likely mostly or entirely table sugar, i.e., not even whiskey and certainly not aged. It's hard enough to hide an illegal still from revenue agents, let alone an illegal warehouse with thousands of barrels in it, plus where would the barrels come from? All you really need is a brain and about 5 minutes use of it to know Templeton's tale is bullshit and all NPR did was repeat Templeton's bullshit. Why bend yourself into a pretzel trying to justify them? I didn't read the article but I did hear the story on NPR, and I assume they're the same. As for the 'story' as repeated by old Templetonians, it's not hard to believe that Templeton had some reputation as a place where illegal alcohol could be had. There were many such places. It's a big leap from that to claiming a fully aged straight rye whiskey is the legacy. As for the Capone story, just about every town in the midwest has a similar tale. It's like the Biblical flood story, just about every ancient culture in the world has one. Remember too that Capone's reign ended in 1931 -- 82 years ago. Most of the Templeton old-timers who are stumping for the brand weren't even born when the events they're talking about occurred. They're either repeating stories they heard as kids or, just as likely, saying what Templeton president Scott Bush told them to say. Again, it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. But, yeah, I'm the bad guy here.

Also, Sazerac Rye is not a "longtime New Orleans favorite" unless you consider seven years a long time. Sazerac Rye was introduced in 2005.

Edited by cowdery
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Ah, memory is such a fleeting glimpse. If someone had asked me today I'd have sworn with a true heart and clear conscience that we were drinking Sazerac Rye since 2002.

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Might be 2002. Either way, not a 'longtime' favorite and, again, that's sloppy journalism. The Sazerac Cocktail is a 'longtime New Orleans favorite,' but Sazerac Rye is a recent introduction.

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'Longtime' is subjective, there really is no right or wrong, so I question whether this constitutes sloppy journalism. For some of us who are much too young to remember glut whiskey, Saz is a longtime favorite. Additionally, in the context of the recent rebirth of rye, which the story was about, Saz has comparatively been around for a long time.

If you don't like the story, it would seem that the thing to do is set it straight on your blogspot account where it can be taken more seriously, and possibly seen by more people than pay attention to those self-aggrandizing and irrelevant NPR journalists - how dare they write about whiskey?!

Edited by LostBottle
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