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Templeton Rye Whiskey Simply Launched its First Bourbon, and We Received an Early Style

Templeton Rye Whiskey Simply Launched its First Bourbon, and We Received an Early Style

Templeton is known for its rye whiskey, which it has sourced from MGP in Indiana since its founding in 2006. But in 2018, Templeton opened its own distillery in the Iowa town of the same name and has been making whiskey there ever since—and it turns out it’s not just rye. Last week the distillery released Templeton Fortitude, the first bourbon and the first release to be entirely produced and aged in Iowa.

For years, the Templeton story centered around the period during Prohibition when bootleggers set up shop in Iowa, with the brand even claiming that the original Templeton rye whiskey was Al Capone’s preferred drink. In 2015, several class action lawsuits were filed against Templeton alleging that the company misled consumers about where the whiskey was actually produced (Iowa instead of Indiana) and intentionally mislabeled it as a “small batch” whiskey (although there is no legal definition for that term). The lawsuits were settled, the labels were changed, and this is now a part of whiskey legal history.

Until now, the Templeton portfolio has consisted of rye whiskeys aged for four, six, and 10 years, along with a few cask finishes. None of the rye that is being distilled in-house has been dropped yet, which makes this bourbon release even more notable for the distillery. In keeping with the rye whiskey theme, Fortitude is a very high-rye bourbon: The mashbill is 55 percent corn, 40 percent rye, and 5 percent malted barley. While the rye is imported, the corn is sourced from local farmers located within 15 miles of the distillery, and the whiskey is mashed, fermented, distilled, and matured onsite.

We got an early taste of Templeton Fortitude Bourbon, and it’s a good first release. The whiskey was bottled at 92 proof and is non-chill filtered, which allows some extra flavor to shine through on the palate. There is no age statement, but it’s labeled as straight bourbon so it must be at least 4 years old (the flavor profile indicates a bourbon in the 4-to-5-year-old range). The mouthfeel is a bit thin and overall the palate is on the lighter side, but this is a tasty bourbon with a nice sweetness to it that’s tempered with a good amount of spice from the high rye content. There are notes of honey, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, black pepper, Meyer lemon, and cinnamon on the palate, making this a suitable sipping bourbon that would also work very well in cocktails.

Templeton Fortitude Bourbon is just rolling out now nationally, so it might be difficult to find online at the moment. But check websites like ReserveBar, which currently has all of the rye whiskeys for sale, because it should be available there soon.

Source: Robb Report

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