Templeton to Build New Distillery


April 6, 2017

Templeton Rye will soon have its own workhorse distillery.

According to the company, it plans to break ground on a new Templeton, Iowa, facility that will be completed in about 18 months.

The company said the new 34,500-square-foot distillery will produce some 500,000 proof gallons and will include a 40,000-barrel aging warehouse.

Launched in 2006, Templeton settled a class-action lawsuit in 2015 for failure of disclosing the state of distillation on its labels, a federal requirement since 1930s. Plaintiffs received $3 to $6 per bottle.

Despite the continued fallout from the lawsuit, including the fact Templeton adds proprietary flavoring (which is permitted for “rye whiskey” but not “straight rye whiskey”), this new distillery is a giant step for Templeton, which continues to be a bartender favorite. Templeton and Bulleit are two of the most common ryes used in cocktails. Coincidentally, both are made at the Lawrenceburg, Ind., distillery now owned by MGP Ingredients.

In a few years, we’ll have a true Iowa-made Templeton rye. Can they maintain the flavor consistency? That’s always the question when brands jump from contract stills and barrels to their own equipment and talent.

Personally, I look forward to this Iowa rye. We need more variety in this burgeoning category.

Photo: I took this photo in 2011. Templeton is actually a really cool town and is steeped in bootlegging and moonshining history. A large distillery would be great for its local economy and could truly add a leg to the American whiskey trail. As for the photo, it’s Bernard Schulte’s tombstone, which was once used to store Prohibition whiskey to hid from the revenue agents.