It’s been two years since Iowa’s Templeton Rye released a barrel-strength whiskey, and this year this high-proof spirit has returned with a bang. The 2022 edition is the fourth from the brand so far, and one that fans of bold, spicy rye whiskey should check out.
Templeton’s Iowa distillery was just completed a few years ago, so all of the whiskey in the bottle continues to be produced at MGP in Indiana, with the classic 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley mash bill. The core expression is a six-year-old rye whiskey bottled at 91.5 proof, but the barrel-strength version, which debuted in 2018, has an ABV that trends much higher than that. The 2022 edition was bottled at 57.3 percent ABV, or 114.6 proof, a slight increase from the last release. Specific barrels are selected for this expression of varying ages to be blended together for the non-chill filtered final product.
“Our Barrel Strength series is dedicated to producing innovative offerings with compelling taste profiles and our Barrel Strength 2022 iteration is our most exciting release yet,” said senior vice president of Templeton Distillery, Blair Woodall, in a press release. “We’re delighted to share this new Barrel Strength 2022 expression with the world of our fans who seek a quality rye.”
The distillery recommends saving this whiskey for sipping neat, or perhaps with some ice or a splash of water to cut down the alcohol a bit. But honestly, go ahead and make a cocktail with this as well—the high proof will bring some extra intensity to your next Manhattan. The proof is indeed prominent, but not overpowering, adding a layer of red hot cinnamon to the palate. The main notes are black pepper, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and a dollop of dark chocolate, with some lingering heat on the finish.
It’s true, there are many different rye whiskeys produced at MGP that are sold under different brand names to sample these days, but despite that fact there are flavor differences that differentiate them. So give this whiskey a try to see how it stacks up against the rest. You can find the new Templeton Rye Barrel Strength 2022 (SRP $59.99) available to purchase online now.