Templeton Rye 6 Years – A Press Release Without Integrity

Templeton Rye 6 Years

Templeton Rye 6 Years is Bullshit. Well, the actual age of the whiskey probably isn’t, but the press release for the Templeton Rye 6 Years definitely is. It’s as if asshats at Templeton didn’t learn anything from their $2,500,000 lawsuit because they’re once again telling the same old made-up story.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while you know this stuff pisses me off. So much so that when Keith Kerkhoff released a “message to his customers” I made a video ripping his video apart. Seeing how the same purposely misleading themes are present in the Templeton Rye 6 Years press release I decided to do it again.

Warning: More foul language below because I’m pissed off.

Templeton Rye 6 Years Press Release – with commentary

Ultra Premium Rye Whiskey Category Leader Debuts Bolder, More Complex and Higher in Proof, 6 Year Expression

TEMPLETON, IA, JUNE 7 –– Templeton Rye Whiskey will release Templeton Rye 6 Year Old, a limited edition aged rye, this month. The new offering is the first from the leading ultra-premium rye whiskey maker in 10 years.

Wow… we didn’t get very far before having to stop did we? “…the leading ultra-premium rye whiskey maker…” No, no they are not. Templeton doesn’t make jack shit. Templeton just bottles some MGP rye they’ve added some artificial flavoring and water to. That’s it. Seems like these asshats couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.

Based on a family recipe that dates from the era of Prohibition, Templeton Rye was one of the first contemporary rye whiskeys, introduced legally in 2006. “When we saw the tremendous growth of the category and our brand, we decided to set aside key barrels for longer aging back in 2010,” says Keith Kerkhoff, Co-founder of Templeton Rye. “We’re delighted with this first offering, especially in a category where aged expressions are rare.”

NO… NO IT’S NOT! Templeton Rye 6 Years is MGP rye like the rest of their stuff. Chief Bullshit Officer Keith Kerkhoff admitted as much when he said “we decided to set aside key barrels for longer aging”. Them saying their whiskey was “Based on a family recipe that dates from the era of Prohibition” was the entire reason they got sued and had to remove the Prohibition labeling from their bottles.

Templeton Rye Not Prohibition
Pre-lawsuit Templeton on the left, post-lawsuit Templeton on the right. Notice the removal of “Prohibition Era Recipe”. It was removed because it wasn’t a prohibition recipe and they got sued for saying it was.

Templeton Rye is MGP rye and MGP rye is not a prohibition recipe. It’s made from 95% rye, 5% barley and it’s the exact same rye whiskey that’s in Bulleit Rye, George Dickel Rye, High West Double Rye and High West Rendezvous Rye and all of those companies admit it. How can it be a family recipe if it’s A) the same stuff all of these companies use and B) a modern MGP creation? Is your last name Metze? Stop lying you unrepentant asshat.

Holy mother of litigation I hope this release of Templeton Rye 6 Years manages to trigger another law suite.

Templeton 6 Year Old is aged in new American oak barrels. With a higher proof, 45.75% ABV, and longer time in the barrel, the new expression displays more complex rye notes that will entice and intrigue whiskey aficionados and novice drinkers alike.

This is a Rye that delivers on every level. Floral aromas and hints of dry spice, butterscotch, vanilla, cherry and green apple preview a balanced taste nuanced with vibrant flavor cues of fruit with hints of toasted oak. The body is bold oak with burnt sugar sweetness; the finish long and strong with lingering spiciness. “I am thrilled and excited about this latest expression and am confident that our loyal fans and all whiskey enthusiasts will enjoy the style and complexity they’ll experience with our 6 Year Old, says Kerkhoff. “We believe mixologists will be particularly interested in the 6 year because they recommend higher proof, aged whiskies for craft cocktails,” he added.

Templeton Rye 6 Years might deliver on all of that. Sure, it’s completely possible, but true whiskey enthusiasts know that the Templeton Rye story is horse shit and hopefully more and more people do as well once they learn about the lawsuit and the massive amount of deceit behind this brand.

Also, how much of those flavor and aromas come from the whiskey and how many were engineered by Clarenden Flavors? There’s no way to know when you buy a flavored whiskey. Those tasting notes are akin to someone saying Jim Beam Apple tastes and smells like apple. With the right additives they can make the Templeton Rye 6 Years taste and smell however they want.

Templeton Rye has been a huge part of our community and we thank them for their support. We look forward to the continued success of the brand,” adds Ken Behrens, Mayor of Templeton, Iowa.

I look forward to the demise of Templeton Rye 6 Years, Templeton Rye and anything to do with this brand. The fact that they can’t even issue a press release with integrity after being sued for said lack of integrity is sad and pathetic.

Rye Whiskey is one of the fastest growing North American Whiskey segments in both volume and sales revenue and Templeton Rye is the category leader in the ultra-premium rye segment.* “The rye whiskey category is continuing to grow. We enjoy a distinct advantage because Templeton was one of the first rye whiskeys introduced to the market,” said Kerkhoff. “As we explore more complex, aged expressions, we know the brand will continue to please our loyal consumers and attract new drinkers to the Templeton fold.”

I hope they don’t get new customers, they don’t need new people to spin stories to and confuse. And seriously, what’s the point of having stocks of old rye if you’re doing to dump a bunch of flavoring into it? Old rye is awesome, but then you go an dump a bunch of modern artificial crap into it while telling people it’s a prohibition recipe… I… I just can’t…

The suggested retail price for Templeton Rye 6 Year Old is $49.99.

About Templeton Rye

Templeton Rye is based on the prohibition era Kerkhoff recipe, born in Templeton, Iowa during prohibition when many enterprising residents of a small town in Iowa chose to become outlaws, producing a high-caliber and much sought after whiskey known as Templeton Rye or “The Good Stuff” to those in the know. Rumor has it Templeton Rye became Al Capone’s whiskey of choice.

Templeton Rye was introduced nationally in 2006 using a recipe that best matched the recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, Keith Kerkhoff’s grandfather. Templeton Rye uses a mash made up of 95% rye from MGP (formerly Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana) as its foundation. The distilled rye whiskey is brought to Templeton, Iowa where it is combined with local purified water and a proprietary formula. The whiskey is then bottled in the production facility in Templeton, Iowa.

Learn more about Templeton Rye Whiskey by visiting templetonrye.com and become a member of the Bootleggers Society to stay in the know on all things Templeton Rye.

And there it is… buried at the bottom of the Templeton Rye 6 Years press release, the truth. Hidden away after a series of misleading statements and bullshit here’s the truth they want to hide. Crafting a press release like this and hiding the info you’re now legally obliged to disclose at the very bottom is disgusting. It shows a complete and utter lack of integrity and is exactly why this brand should be boycotted. It took a $2.5M lawsuit for the truth to come out and yet they still do their best to wash over it and hide it at the bottom, but it’s still not the complete truth. They’re still trying to put some makeup on that pig.

The line about “using a recipe that best matched the recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff” is another gigantic pile of bullshit. In this press statement by the Chief Bullshit Officer himself, Keith Kerkhoff, he states that his Grandpa’s recipe couldn’t be called rye whiskey. This means he either used something other than grains or didn’t use a minimum of 51% rye which means a modern MGP 95% rye 5% barley mashbill couldn’t be anywhere near his grandpa’s.

The real reason they used MGP 95/5 rye whiskey for Templeton Rye, and now Templeton Rye 6 Years, is because it’s what was, and still is, available in mass quantities. Not because it was close to his grandpa’s rye that couldn’t be classified as rye, but because it was what was for sale on the market. If a different rye had been available on the market in mass quantities he would have been buying that instead. He’d be signing this same song no matter what rye he could get his hands on.

Even when they have to admit the truth they can’t do that and have to dress it up with bullshit. This complete lack of integrity is why I’ll never buy a single damn thing the Kerkhoff family is ever involved in and I hope you don’t either.

Templeton Rye Liars

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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52 Responses to Templeton Rye 6 Years – A Press Release Without Integrity

  1. The words “ultra-premium rye segment” is both laughable and frightening; rye has always been the most plebian, democratic, and unassuming of spirits in America. Kept on a lower shelf in the cabinet while the fancy bourbon was brought out for guests. Rye was embraced by those of us who could appreciate its virtues, and ignored by the rest of the spirits world. It was, so to speak, our little secret.

    Which leads me to my other nit with these jokers: “Templeton was one of the first rye whiskeys introduced to the market”. Really. I remember the early 1990s, when the only rye whiskeys anyone could get were the once-or-twice-a-year productions from Wild Turkey, Jim Beam (Beam and Overholt), and Heaven Hill (Rittenhouse, Stephen Foster, and Pikesville). No other major producer was making the stuff for standalone consumption, although Seagram was making what would become MGP rye as a flavoring component for blended whiskey. Anchor was barely getting Old Potrero off the ground, and in any case as a 100% malted rye mash it was different from anything else on the market.

    Fie and a pox on them. Poseurs.

    • Yup, everything about these assholes is disingenuous, misleading or just a flat-out lie. Rye has been around since the beginning of whiskey distillation in America. Sure it fell out of fashion for a while and we only had a few releases, as you pointed out perfectly, but it never went away. They weren’t among the first to market on anything.

  2. The measure of the stupidity involved is the fact that they could have simply told the truth from the beginning. So they finesse MGP to taste like grampies’ whiskey recipe? Big deal? Everyone likes the MGP product anyway. And adulterating whiskey with all manner of processes and additives is not exactly a Templeton exclusive. It amazes me on a daily basis the lengths that people will go to circumvent the truth when honesty would be so much easier and less destructive.

    • Exactly. People like High West have been telling the truth about the source of their whiskey from the beginning and they’ve never had to worry about a thing.

  3. Maybe the fact that sketchy rectifying was a common practice during Prohibition is what makes this a “prohibition era recipe”.

  4. Let’s not forget part of their BS story has to do with one of the most ruthless mobsters ever to run a booze smuggling racket anywhere, ever.

    What’s next, they’re gonna try to say they’ve never turned a profit like poor old Al?

  5. Blah Blah Blah. It is easy for you to hide behind your laptop and spout negative, and derogatory statements directed at whoever you choose. Maybe some day bloggers will be held to the same ethical standards as a professional journalist. In addition, your repeated use of derogatory terms to describe the people behind Templeton Rye, is proof your opinion is not an objective one. You obviously have a personal vendetta aimed at Templeton Rye.

    Bottom line is Templeton Rye is enjoyed by millions of people every day, and is currently the number 2 selling Rye whiskey in the U.S. It is projected to take the number one spot within the next two years. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, however the proof is in the numbers.

    I just picked up my first bottle of Templeton 6 year last night. It is a beautiful whiskey with rich vanilla, caramel and spice flavors. My friends, family and I have been drinking Templeton Rye for years, and we enjoy the product very much.

    May I suggest you, and the 1% of fellow whiskey snobs out in cyber space, don’t drink
    Templeton Rye 6 year?

    We prefer you save it for us, the millions of devoted followers in the U.S. who love this brand.

    • So Mr. Paal. Is it more ethical for me to sit back and help perpetuate a bullshit story and let the facts slide or is it more ethical to point out the truth and dredge up oh-so uncomfortable facts? It’s always funny how when the truth isn’t in some people’s favors they try to turn things around on the person who’s spouting the facts. Facts only matter when they’re in your favor is that how it works?

      You’re absoloutley right, it is easy for me to say these things and it would have been just as easy for Keith Kerkhoff to have told the truth from the beginning. It would have been far easier for him to just tell the truth than to have to constantly cover it up and then pay out $2.5MM because of his lies. He’s in the situation he’s in because of himself and himself alone, he chose the path he and his bullshit brand are now walking. No one forced him to make up those stories and make false claims. The truth would have been far easier.

      You point to ethical journalism and you know what? Ethical Journalism should (and did) call him out on his bullshit the first time. That’s what ethical journalism is, it’s fining the truth and calling out people on their bullshit. Don’t candy coat it, hide it or assist in covering it up, call bullshit exactly what it is. Bullshit. In my opinion any journalistic outlet (blog or otherwise) who took this press release and just let it go out without any commentary are the unethical ones. They assisted in perpetuating the bullshit.

      Others might not use the term bullshit as much as I have, but that’s because I own this site so I can use that term it as much as I want to. If I were to write a piece about this for another publication I would probably have been asked to tone the cursing down a bit and I would have obliged because I was a guest on their site. Here I can express myself however I want and I did warn you at the top. Hell I could have called the press release a fucking pile of flaming horse cocks if I wanted to. The First Amendment guarantees I can say that if I so wished, but I thought bullshit covered it just fine. So if your journalism comment was an attempted dig at me using cursing as a mechanism to express how livid I am about this situation it failed because I feel no shame in using harsh words under the circumstances.

      Go ahead and enjoy your Templeton, no one is stopping you and since I won’t touch it with 10 foot pole there definitely is enough for you. If you enjoy being lied to then do it, no one is stopping you. But the truth is that Templeton Rye will never be the best selling rye whiskey in the USA, it will always be MGP. MGP rye is the actual whiskey in that and when you combine this with all of the other brands that use the exact same MGP rye (Bulleit, Dickel, High West, etc.) MGP dwarfs everyone by an absurd margin. Templeton is just a label and some artificial flavoring.

      • Holy Hanna…..I loved this site before, but now that you hit the pompous a-hole Tom Paal with “fucking pile of flaming horse cocks”, I may never leave this site again.
        Well done Mr. Peters, well done.

      • Testify brother Peters…….. I suppose the fact that this is an opinion based site with those opinions based in the facts is lost on that fuckin’ guy.

      • Little late to the party here…With respect to Tom Paal’s comments, what does the idea that this is a popular whiskey have to do with anything? Does that somehow make deceptive marketing ok? To me it probably makes the offense even worse. Not sure what point he’s making there, other than Templeton has deceived a staggering number of people. That said, perhaps we could read that and conclude that he and many others don’t really care. And that’s ok too, I reckon. For me…well…I do.
        Now lets all hug.

    • I haven’t bought a bottle of this stuff since they were caught telling their BS story and tried to cover it with more BS. In fact, while I found the actual whiskey decent, it was definitely not worth $20 more than Rittenhouse, Sazerac and George Dickel Rye. Or even worth $10 more than Bulleit Rye. So Mr. Paal is paying $20 more for something that could be bought for $10 or $20 less under the name brands Bulleit or George Dickel because of a fancy bottle and a made up story? And calls everyone else a “snob”? Unlike Mr. Paal, I don’t have $20 to throw away on something just because of the label.

  6. I remember hearing somewhere that this stuff is flavored with #4 alligator char horse cocks. That’s awful!

  7. I feel like I’ve been mugged. The whiskey I drank from the bottle I bought a week ago was okay, but nothing to write home about. I’ve been had. Ok. It happens. Thanks for the review.
    If my palate is dull enough, I won’t mind the the BS about it and make sure my friends know.

  8. Bit of a potty mouth aren’t we Josh. Really enhances your writing.
    And that you reply to almost every comment, man that’s dedication. Or the inability to let someone else have the last word.

    • Dear Hugo,

      Cursing is often emotionally driven and is often used by adults to get across a heightened level of urgency, distress, frustration, joy, etc. Just like shucks and darn and are words, shit and damn are as well. They’re just words. Words that elicit feelings and senses of state. I did in-fact preface that I would be using a lot of cursing in this breakdown because I was pissed off; a heightened state of emotional being. If you read my typical reviews you would see that I rarely curse on here except in exclamation like “Damn this is good!” or “Holy hell this is bad”. All of which serve a point.

      The entire point of a comment is to reply to something I wrote, so why wouldn’t I reply? That just seems silly. Though when someone says something that does not deserve a response then yeah, I won’t respond, but for passive aggressive comments like this or angry comments like Mr. Paals you bet I’m going to reply.

      • CAUTION: Potentially offensive words ahead…..
        If baffles the shit outta me that more people are upset by a few words coming out of Josh’s word hole than they are the complete bullshit made up story by the bottler/chemist. He’s pissed off (rightfully so in my opinion)…who cares?
        If you want to drink it, drink it and shut the fuck up already. If you happen to agree with Josh, so be it and don’t drink it. I don’t believe Templeton gives a shit about what you or I think or they wouldn’t continue to perpetuate the false story. I come to this site for a no bullshit opinion and appreciate when someone isn’t afraid to call someone out for a substandard product or a bunch of lies.

        PS….Fuck you Hugo

  9. Excellent point by point rebuttal to a long list of lies. No way would I buy a bottle of Templeton Lie.

    Have had several MGP ryes, but they are now all north of $25/750ml in KY. They are pretty good but as you have found, but they only rate in the low 80’s per your scale. I find them too dry and are only suitable for mixing for which they are good.

    I can get many good bourbons that you have ranked in the mid to upper 80’s for less than $20. Therefore I’m not in the rye market for now. BIB’s and wild turkey come to mind.

  10. It’s absolutely ridiculous that diehard apologists for this overrated brand defend it with misdirected vitriol toward the people who only have been calling a spade a spade in regards to Templeton’s fraudulent marketing practices. If these clueless chumps seriously do not mind the bevy of tall tales that comprise of the Templeton agenda, then I dare to speculate in what other matters of deception these consumers take no issue with as well.

  11. Thanks for calling these guys out and letting us less informed consumers know the facts. Hey, they would have a great career in politics!

  12. I like Greg Metze Whiskey.

    You know what I also like? Making $$$!!

    So next to my $49.99 price tag is: “Distilled by Greg Metze @ MGP in Southern Indiana”.

    All sorted, all good…Next outrage, please.

    -Aqua “Wine/Craft Beer/Spirits Retailer” man-

  13. Hi Josh! Want the real deal? Rich and I are proud to be producing a true small batch craft product. We’re using a real Prohibition bootlegger’s recipe, using local 100% rye grain, with stills custom designed using old school setups. Check us out on Facebook under Iowa Legendary Rye! ~Lisa

  14. Unfortunately, before I knew the truth about Templeton I bought a couple of bottles. Didn’t hate it, but definitely did not love it. The opened bottle got slurped up at a party (not by me), and the sealed bottle…well, I’ll bring it to another party and be done with it. I forwarded your review to the dealer who sold me the bottles, and he said that he’s going to stop carrying it. Thanks for the info.

  15. The sad thing is that Templeton would have a great story that could be milked for a lot of creative marketing without any of the bullshit they apparently thought they couldn’t do without.
    The real Templeton Rye story of the bootleggers is quite exciting even if you stick to the facts. There was even a book written about them called “Gentlemen Bootleggers”.
    The reason that no one today could replicate the original Prohibition recipe today and call the result rye is that a huge part of the mash was sugar. That was true for most hooch from that time. If you want to taste what it really tasted like, try Popcorn Sutton’s stuff; they actually use sugar and grain; but they don’t and couldn’t call it whiskey nowadays.

    • You hit the nail on the head Erik. They absolutely could have have told a great story and built a great brand around celebrating that point in time without telling a single lie. They could have even pulled in the bit about his grandpa and talked about how this was a tribute to him and the rest of the Templeton bootleggers. So sad they had to go and ruin it all with a bunch of lies.

    • Hi Erik, our recipe actually uses sugar and grain! No malting, no enzymes. Came directly from the Sextro family from Templeton. Oh, and we distill it here. 🙂
      ~Lisa, Iowa Legendary Rye, Carroll, Iowa (just down the road a bit from Templeton)

  16. I too dislike this type of practice. Templeton is, of course, not the only ones doing it though. Another Rye that sits poorly because of their marketing, over hype, and then driving the train clear off the tracks is WhistlePig.

    A new comer to the whiskey world would go to their site (WhistlePig’s) and not realize the smoke and mirrors or that in fact they source their spirit from two locations (the greatest being, it appears from Canada). Much of their marketing “magic” spins a completely different story other than the truth, but like with Templeton if you look close you might find a pinch of truth in there, placed so well that most people will overlook it… predictably so. And what is worse, is that much of this is admitted to by their CEO (who is being ousted, rightly so IMO), and he does not care. It is all about the show. It is all about the dream and lies. Fake it until you make it…. then just keep on faking it anyways.

    Hey, there is nothing wrong with sourcing your base spirits. It is a practice that goes back a long ways. What is wrong is building a brand off a complete LIE. If it is GOOD WHISKEY people will drink it. And if they will drink it, they will BUY it. Most of us don’t care if it does not come directly from the distiller. What we care about is whether the end product is GOOD, and that it is priced appropriately. What we do NOT like, is being sold a bill of goods, the continual dishonesty, and LIES.

    “But I love this whiskey! It is so good! Shame on you for just trying to run down a good product!”

    They miss the point completely. INTEGRITY. And for a good many of us, it IS important. But we see this all over the place, not just with whiskey. The real story is good enough, and sometimes even GREAT…. but no, you have to just spin it up into something it simply is NOT. STOP! And some will “get it”, but sadly too many just will not.

    • 1,000% Agree with you. I haven’t done a Whistle Pig rant yet because they admitted before they got sued, but yes. They still continue to try and make you think it’s something it’s not. The lack of integrity in these brands is mind blowing. Cheers!

  17. I stumbled upon this tonight as I was reading reviews of another Rye I bought today in Faribault, MN. I was trying to decide between Templeton 6 year and FEW. Finally went with the FEW to try something new. I first tried Templeton about 10 years ago when it was not available here in MN. A friend brought some from IA and we all loved it. I’m glad I didn’t get the 6 yr. today and will be forwarding this info to friends….thanks!

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Templeton Rye 6 Years - A Press Release Without Integrity


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