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Here’s a rye I’d never heard of, although it’s well known in the Midwestern US. The whisky boasts a 95% rye content. It’s made by MGP in Indiana, famous for its bulk sales of quality spirits to distillers and bottlers alike. Templeton has been in some legal hot water with regards to labeling and transparency in the past, it seems. We won’t get into that, but I did read up on their situation. In the process I was interested to learn that after they source their whiskey they add flavouring to it. Even more interesting is that this is legal in the States if no more than 2.5% of the whiskey is adulterated, so long as the product isn’t labeled as “straight” bourbon or rye. Anyway, I’m from Canada, so who am I to pass judgment on a flavoured whisky with a disingenuous label? Ahem...
Nose: A gentle, rye-forward nose. Rye, spearmint, fennel, cream soda, cola, clove, vanilla, caramelized fruit, and oak.
Palate: Arrives gently, with an unexpectedly thick mouthfeel. Rye, spearmint, cinnamon, dill, orange soda, raisins, and caramelized fruit.
Finish: Straight as an arrow, and quite long. Rye, vanilla, orange candy, sweet oranges, ginger ale, raisins, oak, woodspice, and clove.
Thoughts: This is good quality rye for sure. I’m reminded of some of the Willett’s bottlings made from MGP, albeit much lighter and less herbal. Despite its low abv, the bite from the rye and the vivid flavours do compensate for its 40%. Orange candy, rye, vanilla, and spearmint are very much in sync here. If you hadn’t noticed, I referenced four different kinds of soda throughout the review, so you’d be right in assuming that this is on the sweet side of American rye. Speculation, but I believe this is a result of the flavouring (no, not from ACTUAL soda). While I don’t appreciate unlisted additives in my whiskey, this is really quite nice. Good for sipping, and better still for cocktails. A decent, reasonably-priced flavoured whiskey.