Templeton Rye

Historic rye from the town of Templeton (which would have been made by numerous farmers in the area, not just one) was, again purportedly, a favorite of Chicago gangster Al Capone. Of course today’s Templeton whiskey is not actually based on any antique recipe, it’s just four year-old 95% rye mash-bill bulk straight rye from LDI/MGP in Indiana, which has been proofed down and bottled using local Iowa water. I guess adding water to something now qualifies as “making it”

George Dickel Rye

Here, we have something different. This is not actually a bourbon (nor a Tennessee Whiskey), but rather a MGP-distilled (that would be in Indiana) 95% rye whiskey that has been subjected to the above charcoal chill-filtration process. I am now obliged to point out the bald-faced hypocrisy of a label that…

Balcones Texas Rye (100 Proof)

All Balcones whiskeys are pot distilled in batches and bottled without chill-filtration or added coloring. This particular bottle (which sounds downright placid next to siblings like Blue Corn Whiskey and Texas Single Malt) is distilled from a mash bill of 100% rye, including Elbon Rye from Northwest Texas and crystal, chocolate and roasted rye malts.

James E. Pepper 1776 100-Proof Rye

James E. Pepper, an historic brand established (purportedly) in 1780 but mothballed in 1958 was distilled at several sites in Kentucky, including the now-abandoned James E. Pepper distillery in Lexington, KY. In 2008 the rights to the brand were purchased by the Georgetown Trading Co., and re-launched using sourced whisky from various distilleries.

Filibuster Boondoggler Whiskey

When a bottle label says that it was a “small batch” of whiskey “aged in 5 different barrels” my mind automatically Google Translates that into “made from leftover barrels that we didn’t know what to do with.” That may or may not be fair but I just write a blog so I don’t have to be fair. Apparently the blend started as a personal project for the owner…

Pikesville Rye

The Pikesville brand was a pre-Prohibition (and post- until distillation ceased in 1972) Maryland rye. The brand now claims the distinction of being the last Maryland rye brand to fall, despite the category’s once prolific market presence. Heaven Hill brought the brand (although not the Maryland origin) back to life in 2015, using stocks of 6 year-old rye.

Wild Turkey Forgiven (Batch 303)

According to the marketing spin on Forgiven, a warehouse worker accidentally blended some Wild Turkey straight rye into some Wild Turkey straight bourbon, which automatically made a blended American whiskey that can’t be called “straight” anymore. Presumably the accident tasted pretty good so Wild Turkey bottled it as a limited edition, small batch blend at 45.5% ABV…

Treaty Oak “Red Handed” Rye (10 year)

The rye has a bit higher ABV at 50%, and an actual age statement at a resounding 10 years. That’s pretty high for rye in the current market. A bit of digging revealed that this rye is from the Schenley distillery, at a mashbill of 53% rye, 39% corn and 8% barley. I spent a little too much time researching this, as the name Schenley is both a storied name in American whiskey and also awash with confusion…