When Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in 1920, many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws – producing a high caliber and much sought-after whiskey known as Templeton Rye.
Based on its extremely smooth finish, the American rye whiskey earned the nickname of "The Good Stuff" and quickly brought a certain degree of fame to the doorsteps of Templeton (pop. 350). As the premium brand of the era, Templeton Rye fetched an impressive $5.50 per gallon – or approximately $70 by today's standards.
Over the course of its storied history, Templeton Rye became Al Capone's whiskey of choice, quickly finding its way to the center of his bootlegging empire. Hundreds of kegs per month were supplied to Capone's gang who in turn filled the demand of speakeasies throughout Chicago, New York and as far west as San Francisco.
Capone was eventually convicted on charges of tax evasion and sent to prison. Later legends suggest that a few bottles even found their way inside the walls of Alcatraz to the cell of prisoner AZ-85.
Although most American whiskeys ceased production after prohibition ended, Templeton Rye continued to be produced illegally in small quantities for loyal patrons. More than eighty-five years later, the infamous small batch rye whiskey finally returned – made available legally for the first time ever in 2006.
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2 oz. Templeton Rye
1/4 oz. Absinthe
3-4 drops Peychaud bitters
1 oz. Simple syrup
Splash of distilled water
Fill Old Fashioned glass with ice. Add Absinthe. Drop one sugar cube in a mixing glass along with bitters and a dash of distilled water. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add Templeton Rye and ice to the mixing glass. Stir mixture in mixing glass 25 to 30 seconds. Discard ice and Absinthe from Old Fashioned glass. Strain contents from mixing glass into Absinthe coated glass. Add a lemon twist expressing the oils over the glass.
2 oz. Templeton Rye
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp. Demerara suger
Orange and cherry mash
Dissolve 1 teaspoon Demerara sugar in hot water. Add Templeton Rye, bitters and ice. Stir until properly chilled and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with a couple of ice cubes. Garnish with a large orange disc or twist.
1.5 oz. Templeton Rye
4 oz. Dark coffee
1 tsp. Sugar
Fresh whipped cream
Start with sugar in the empty glass. Next pour in the Templeton Rye, followed by the coffee. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let mixture settle. Float whipped cream on top and serve.
Just like in the Prohibition Era, Templeton Rye is very difficult to find. We allocate a small number of cases each month to our partners listed below:
Iowa - Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division
Illinois - Wirtz Beverage
California - Young's Market Company
New York - Southern Wine & Spirits
You may be able to order a bottle of The Good Stuff from one of the following retailers, depending on your state laws:
If we're not in your state just yet, please be patient. We're working on bringing The Good Stuff to more great places throughout America.
Now that you can talk about Templeton Rye openly and without fear of the wrong people overhearing, feel free to get in touch with us anytime.
209 E. 3rd Street
Templeton, IA 51463
Take exit 60 to US 71 North for approximately 30 minutes. Continue north where US 71 intersects IA-141. The road will become Rye Avenue and you will find us on the right hand side just before the road curves towards downtown Templeton.