Templeton Rye whiskey claims heritage to prohibition times when Iowan "outlaws" eagerly made available a highly sought-after whiskey. They claim it was known as "the good stuff" and retailed for today's equivalent of $70... it became the choice of Al Capone himself. It continued to be produced illegally until recently and is now available from small batch productions. The mash bill contains 90% rye and 10% barley, suggesting a full-bodied rye despite the relatively lower proof. The brand was founded by Scott Bush, Keith Kerkhoff, and Vernon Underwood. The heritage runs in their blood: Keith Kerkhoff claims Al Capone as his grandfather and Scottt Bush claims Frank Schroeder, who originally made the whiskey for Al Capone, as his great-grandfather. Scott's Uncle Gus had a bottle of Prohibition rye in his home bar that became the source for the modern product.
Numerous sources complain that the product is actually made in Indiana, despite the federal Tax and Trade Bureau noting the source as Templeton Rye Spirits in Iowa. This appears to be confirmed in an interview in the Tasting Panel Magazine (May, 2013) by Richard Carleton Hacker where MPG is noted as the source of the distillation (in adherence to Templeton's recipe). The barrels are aged on site for 4-5 years and bottled in Iowa.According to the interview, future plans are to have distillation done in Templeton, IA as well.
According to a discussion we had at the 2010 Celebration of American Distillers, they first launched the rye in 2006 with a mere 68 barrels of whiskey; these promptly sold out in just four months leading to the success that they've had to date. From our perspective, we note Templeton Rye Spirits of Iowa as the producer in deference to the listing with the federal Tax and Trade Bureau and also because the blending and bottling to taste is completed by Templeton.