The latest addition to Templeton’s core lineup is a single barrel MGP straight rye bottled at 104 proof. It’s the kind of whiskey that should theoretically excite whiskey geeks but it can’t help but make purists a bit skeptical. This is because Templeton has a reputation for being somewhat deceptive about their whiskeys.
The reason for that is their commitment to the idea of a “Prohibition era” recipe and theme. That was fine in the early 2010s, but as they have expanded and grown, it’s become increasingly clear that their MGP sourced whiskey is not only far from the actual Prohibition era recipe but also not even distilled in Indiana. That led to a public outrage that resulted in a class action settlement and a shift to “distilled in Iowa” on their bottles.
Still, the whiskey itself is quite good. It drinks at a relatively high proof but is extremely smooth for its strength. Its flavor profile is fairly complex, with a solid amount of rye spice and hints of mint, along with toasted sugar (like commercial palm) and other flavors that suggest richness without the associated bitterness.
There is a bit of an oily mouthfeel that helps it to drink even more smoothly than one would expect at its proof point. And it’s all backed up by some good ethanol burn that keeps it from ever getting hot or dry. In fact, it’s pretty much the perfect high-proof rye whiskey in terms of balance and ease of drinking.