A man responsible for helping to re-craft a popular Prohibition-era whiskey in Iowa has died. The president of Templeton Rye says Master Distiller, Meryl Kerkhoff died Thursday at the age of 81.
Templeton’s Scott Bush says Kerkhoff died at the Manning Hospital, surrounded by his family. Kerkhoff was a child of the Depression who was born just a mile away from the company’s current distillery in Templeton. His father, Alphons, was busted twice by government agents.
Meryl Kerkhoff learned to distill whiskey from a young age and had been taught to never discuss Templeton Rye, particularly with strangers. But in 2001, he passed along secret recipes for the mash to his son Keith. Later in life, Meryl Kerkhoff fought for two years in Korea before making a successful career as a farmer and auctioneer.
Scott Bush says at Meryl Kerkhoff’s request, a video featuring Meryl, his son Keith and Bush, was recorded, where the men reminisced about some of their experiences with the company. A link to the You Tube video can be found at “www.ajiggerofblog.com“.
Other, related videos can be found on the company’s website, “www.templetonrye.com“.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic