A popular prohibition-era whiskey distilled in western Iowa will become more readily available this week. The fourth batch of Templeton Rye is being bottled and delivered to liquor store shelves around Iowa and Illinois. Templeton Rye president Scott Bush says demand has far outpaced supply over the company’s four year history.
“This product right here marks the first Templeton Rye once we started to scale up production,” Bush said. “So, we have about five times as much product available for next year. I tell people it’s still not going to be easy to find, but it’s going to be a lot easier than it is today – which is virtually impossible.”
The whiskey was first produced illegally in the 1920s. Bush says a few cases of fourth batch of the now legal spirit will be shipped to San Francisco and New York. “Certainly our plan is to eventually be a national brand, but this is the product we made four years ago and the product for the next three years is already made too. So we’re somewhat limited on how big we can get how fast,” Bush said.
“Each of the next three years we’re taking a fairly sizable, but somewhat conservative step forward.” The recipe for Templeton Rye requires the whiskey to be aged in oak barrels for four years. The batch being shipped this week was bottled and packaged with the help of 150 volunteers. Bush says fans of the whiskey came to the distillery in Templeton from around Iowa and seven other states.
“It was humbling to see how many people were interested and it’s been a neat experience to have people come here, work all day long for no money and then thank us when they leave,” Bush said with a laugh. The release of Templeton Rye batch four coincides with the 77th anniversary of the end of prohibition.