The Iconic Spirits Blog

Templeton Rye: Lost and Found

October 24, 2012

Tags: templeton rye

Prohibition left a few scars on the American psyche, but it also gave us some great stories. One of those is the tale of Templeton Rye.

Here are the bones: During the time of the Great Thirst, the farmers of Templeton, Iowa (population 362) made the same discovery other farmers have stumbled on for centuries---that it was more profitable to distill their crops into whiskey than to sell them as food. The rye whiskey made in Templeton gained a wide reputation, and was considered to be the best of its kind. At its peak it sold for $5.50 per gallon, or the equivalent of $75 in 2012 dollars. It also became the favorite whiskey of Al Capone, who both drank it and resold it on the black market. Templeton Rye became well-known in the speakeasies of Kansas City, Omaha and Chicago, and was famous as far away as New York and San Francisco. (more…)