Whiskey in the morning

A staff development day at the Templeton Rye Distillery

As the self-appointed Staff Morale Officer of our workplace, I made arrangements recently for a team building field trip to the Templeton Rye Distillery in Templeton, Iowa. Today was the day, and morale is high.

Led by Keith Kerkhoff, a prohibition-era Templeton Rye producer’s decendent, Jon, Ann, Cindy and I enjoyed an insightful look into both the past and present of this tasty rye whiskey so sought after. Filled with anecdotes, Keith led our group through the distilling process, which was occurring in all its raw whiskey glory right before our eyes.

While most of the production takes place in Indiana, TR maintains a working still on site. We were able to witness the process as Keith filled us in on the backdrop. Another off-site nuance to the operation was that TR gets their mash hauled in from Granite City, a chain of fermentus-interuptus-made beer that isn’t nearly as good as the distilled results of their mash tun.

We hit the lab, the filtering room and bottling line. A short film shared more history from voices from the past. It was fun, educational and the barrel room smelled incredible.

The tour ended in the gift shop, where we shared samples of “The Good Stuff” and longed for later this year when TR will have another batch ready for allocation. As it stands now, distribution is only in Iowa and Illinois–and it’s doled out six bottles per account each month. It’s frustrating for enthusiasts to suffer through product shortages, but an increase in production takes four years to catch up when you’re expecting quality of this ilk.

The whiskey is good, the branding is sharp and it does, in fact, lift the spirits of a weary work crew. We had a good time and I’d encourage you to check ’em out.

If you really want some, your best bet is to track down a small town liquor store early in the month–or hit Binny’s Beverage Depot or InternetWines.com.

One Response to Whiskey in the morning

  1. Dave says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! So the Iowa whiskey everyone’s talking about is distilled in Indiana, and comes from mash from who knows where? That’s … not right. So the only “terroir” this liquor could possibly have is the place it’s aged? Because those barrels aren’t from Iowa, and I’ll bet they aren’t charred there, either … I’m not usually a conspiricist, but this seems pretty darn deceptive!

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