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Templeton 6 Year Old Rye

Review: Templeton 6 Year Old Rye   86/100
Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Published May 03, 2019

Templeton Rye is a product of Templeton Rye Spirits based in Iowa. The whiskey was distilled in Indiana by MGP which is a distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, that produce spirits for private label sale (formerly Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana). Although the current bottled whiskey is produced by MGP, this past August, Templeton Rye celebrated the grand opening of the organization’s new new 34,500 square-foot distillery which has the ability to produce up to 500,000 proof gallons of rye whiskey annually. This means that in 2022 Templeton will be able to bottle and sell their own grain to glass whiskey.

The new Templeton Rye 6 Year Old (released in 2016), is apparently based upon a family recipe which dates back to the Prohibition era. The Whiskey was aged in new American oak barrels before being bottled at 45.75% Alcohol by volume

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Templeton 6 Year Old Rye arrives in a squat jug-like whisky bottle with a medium long neck and solid synthetic cork topper. I like these slightly heavy squat bottles as they seem to imply substance when they sit on my bar shelf. They do not tip easily, and they also follow the bartenders creed being easy to hold, easy to pour and easy to store.

I should add that I find the label very attractive as well. Solid graphics are complimented by an easy to read label with a colour scheme that stands out on the whiskey shelf next to my other bottles.

In the Glass 8.5/10

Templeton Rye is a light amber colour in the glencairn which, when tilted and twirled drops skinny legs down the inside of the glass. The initial scents are appealing with light oak and cedar spice rising alongside robust notes of rye grain, honeycomb, and additional scents of vanilla, butterscotch and almond. Milk chocolate is hinted at as are maple dipped graham wafers.

As the glass breathes the rye and oak spice both deepen. The scents and smells act in harmony as the breezes above the glass incite me to steal a quick sip.

In the Glass 52/60

The spirit is bottled at 91.5 proof; however the alcohol content does not reveal itself with undo force. The flavour is robust with rye grain and wood spices melded into complimentary flavours of butterscotch, vanilla and almond. Malted milk chocolate, maple dipped graham wafers, and crusty sourdough rye flavours seem to ooze out as well. Ginger, hints of cinnamon and clove, zesty orange peel and a flavour of yellow apples add complexity to the spirit which is very enjoyable over ice.

I did a little experimentation with my bottle of Templeton Rye and found that it was also an extremely good whisky for fancy cocktails. I strongly recommend Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, and if the mood suits you a nice tall Horse’s Neck is not out of the question either especially as the rye flavours easily push through making this a thoroughly enjoyable highball.

In the Throat 12.5/15

A light maple/caramel sweetness is apparent in the exit with oak spice, bits of leather and vanilla all joined in as the whiskey is swallowed. After the swallow, baking spices linger. All in all this is very pleasant.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The six-year-old Templeton Rye Whiskey is a nice indulgence. It has a firm rye character and even though it is bottled at a strength of 91.5 proof, I found it reasonably smooth and enjoyable to sip over ice. I think what I liked the most however, was its strength as a cocktail whiskey. I suspect this whiskey will find a home in a few more Old Fashioned Cocktails and Manhattans before the summer is over.

You may read some of my other Whiskey Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Servings:

Old Fashioned With Black Currant Bitters

1 3/4 oz Templeton 6 Year Old Rye Whisky
1 tsp Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
4 drops Dillon’s Black Currant Bitters
Orange Peel

Add the first three ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!


The Manhattan


2 oz Templeton 6 Year Old Rye Whisky
3/4 oz Sweet Red Vermouth
5 drops of Coster’s Prescription Burnt Citrus Bitters
3 Large Ice Cubes
Brandied Cherry
Twist of Orange Peel

Add the whiskey, the Vermouth, and the bitters with ice cubes in a Martini Shaker.
Shake to thoroughly chill the mixture.
Spear a cherry with a long toothpick and place it in a chilled glen cairn glass.
Strain the mixed ingredients over the cherry but do not add the ice.
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink) Discard the peel.

And if  you are interested in more recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for my mixed drink recipes!


I am always asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, you may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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