Templeton Distillery logo with tagline "Small Town - Strong Spirit

Templeton Distillery

  • USA, Tennessee
  • San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Tequila Cask Finish
  • http://www.templetondistillery.com/
Phone Number
  • +18445056115
  • 209 Rye Ave, Templeton, IA 51463, United States

Templeton Distillery building exterior with logo.

History of Templeton Distillery

Templeton Distillery, renowned for its Templeton Rye whiskey, has a rich and intriguing history that intertwines with the fabric of Templeton, Iowa, and the era of Prohibition.

Origins and Prohibition Era

Templeton Rye originated during the Prohibition era as a means for farmers in Carroll County, Iowa, to supplement their income. This whiskey, known for its high quality, gained popularity in Chicago, Omaha, and Kansas City speakeasies and was reputedly a favourite of the mobster Al Capone. The distillery’s initial operations were clandestine, in line with the bootlegging activities of the time.

Brand Development and Legalization

Templeton Rye as a brand was reintroduced in 2006, claiming to be based on a Prohibition-era recipe. However, it faced controversy regarding its origins and production, leading to a class-action settlement in 2015. The settlement required adjustments to the product’s labelling, including acknowledging its production in Indiana and removing claims about its “Prohibition Era Recipe” and “small batch” nature.

Expansion and Modern Era

The company made a significant move by starting distilling operations in Iowa, with the first Iowa-produced product expected in 2022. This marked a return to its roots and a significant milestone in the brand’s history.

In 2018, Templeton Rye Spirits LLC opened a new facility in Templeton, Iowa, a 34,500-square-foot distillery and a 51,000-square-foot rackhouse for aging spirits.

This $35 million project was a considerable investment in the community and was expected to produce up to 500,000 proof gallons of rye whiskey annually. The opening of this facility was seen as a homecoming for the brand, cementing its connection to its Iowa origins and history.

Community Impact and Legacy

Templeton Distillery’s legacy is deeply rooted in the community spirit of Templeton, Iowa. The brand is built on the community’s shared experiences, tracing its lineage to the bootleggers of Prohibition. Today, it represents a product and a way of life that embodies freedom, unification, and a strong community spirit.

The Templeton Rye story is not just about the production of whiskey but also about the cultural and historical significance of the area. The distillery’s commitment to its roots and the community has helped it build a dedicated following among whiskey enthusiasts, intertwining the brand with the identity of Templeton itself.

Awards Won by Templeton Distillery

San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Templeton Rye’s 4 Year and 6 Year expressions have each been awarded Gold and Double Gold medals, respectively.

Tequila Cask Finish: This innovative expression, the fifth release in their cask finish series, is a testament to Templeton’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of whiskey production.

Templeton Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting the Templeton Distillery offers a unique and immersive experience that delves into the rich history and modern practices of whiskey-making. Here’s what you can expect from the tour:

Tour Overview

  • Historical Insight: The tour offers a captivating glimpse into the Prohibition era, highlighting Templeton Rye’s origins as a bootlegged whiskey. You’ll learn about the bootleggers’ ingenuity in hiding their whiskey, with stories and replicas of their clever concealment methods.
  • Modern Production: The tour transitions from the historical aspects to modern whiskey-making practices. Visitors get to see the contemporary 36-foot-high copper column still, imported from Scotland, and learn about the entire whiskey-making process, from grain grinding to bottling.
  • Tasting Experience: A highlight of the tour is the tasting session, where visitors are treated to samples of Templeton Rye’s acclaimed whiskeys. The tasting often includes different aged whiskeys, offering a sense of the variety and quality of their products.

Visitor Information

  • Tour Times and Cost: Tours are available at specific times from Wednesday to Saturday, with a charge of $10 for guests over 21. The tour is complimentary for military personnel and guests under 21 years old. Reservations are highly recommended due to the limited group size.
  • Location and Accessibility: The distillery is located in Templeton, Iowa. It is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2018, demonstrating Templeton’s commitment to local production and quality.
  • Visitor Center and Museum: The visitor center and museum are integral parts of the experience, providing an informative and engaging background to the Templeton Rye story.
  • Special Offers: Visitors often have the opportunity to purchase exclusive whiskeys, such as the Special Reserve 6 Year Old Whiskey, only available at the distillery.

Additional Features

  • Interactive Elements: The tour includes interactive elements, such as a walk-through of the old-fashioned copper still and a modern production area with large fermentation tanks. These experiences provide an in-depth look at the distillation process.
  • The Speakeasy: At the end of the tour, visitors are taken to a special room reminiscent of a speakeasy, where they can enjoy a sample of Templeton Rye.

The Templeton Distillery tour is not just a simple walk-through; it’s an engaging journey through the history and future of whiskey-making. It’s an ideal visit for those interested in spirits, history, or looking for a unique Iowa experience.

Flask & Barrel Review of Templeton Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector on numerous distillery tours, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Templeton Distillery, and I must say, it was an experience worth a solid 4.7 out of 5.

Here’s the breakdown of my visit:

  • Tour and History: The tour started with an intriguing dive into the Prohibition era, showcasing Templeton’s roots as a bootleggers’ haven. The storytelling was top-notch, making me feel like I was stepping back in time. As someone who’s been to many tours, this historical angle added a unique touch that I particularly enjoyed.
  • Modern Production Insight: Moving from history to modernity, the tour gave an impressive view of their 36-foot-high copper column still, a stark contrast to the historical tales. This part of the tour offered a detailed look at the whiskey-making process, from grain to glass. As a collector, I appreciated the technical details and the guide’s knowledge.
  • Tasting Experience: The highlight for any whiskey lover! We got to sample different aged whiskeys, each with its distinct character. The 6-year and 10-year samples were exceptional. The tasting area had this cool, secret vibe to it, which made the experience more exclusive.
  • The Speakeasy: Ending the tour in the Speakeasy was a treat. Sampling the Special Reserve in such an atmospheric setting was the perfect capstone to the visit.

Why it’s not a full 5/5: While almost every aspect of the tour was impressive, I felt the gift shop could have offered a wider range of merchandise. Also, the bottling line wasn’t in operation during my visit, which was a bit of a letdown.

Overall Impression: For anyone who appreciates the rich history and craft of whiskey-making, Templeton Distillery is a must-visit. The blend of historical storytelling with modern distilling techniques makes for a memorable experience. As a collector, I found the depth of information satisfying and the tasting experience top-notch. This distillery clearly values its roots and puts a lot of effort into creating a quality product.

What To Do Nearby Templeton Distillery

Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park: Dive into local history and German heritage. The park features a 350-year-old German Hausbarn, the Leet/Hassler Farmstead, and the historic Trinity Church.

Level B Grill: For a hearty meal, try the local favorite Level B Grill. They serve generous portions of classic Iowa dishes.

Shop Along Main Street: Manning’s Main Street offers a variety of local shops like The Market Place for home decor and kitchen items, Kristina‚Äôs Flowers for plants and decor, and Holistic Health for wellness products.

Carroll County Freedom Rock: Visit the artistically painted Freedom Rock, part of a state-wide public art project to honor veterans.

Pose for a Photo with the Iowa Sign: At Milwaukee Trestle Park, you’ll find a large IOWA sign, perfect for a memorable photo.

Sweet Treats Ice Cream Shoppe: Enjoy homemade ice cream in a variety of flavors at this local sweet spot.

Trestle Park: This park offers walking trails, public art, and a historic railroad trestle, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Templeton Distillery?

Barrel Smoke BBQ: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (712) 790-7625. Their address is 109 N Main St, Templeton, IA 51463.

Jalisco Mexican Restaurant: This restaurant has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (712) 775-2524 for reservations. Their address is 425 US-30, Carroll, IA 51401.

The Still Bar & Grill: It boasts a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their contact number is (712) 669-3336. The address for this bar and grill is 109 N Main St, Templeton, IA 51463.

What hotels are near Templeton Distillery?

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Council Bluffs – Conv Ctr Area: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (712) 352-1300. Their address is 2211 S 32nd St, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

Cobblestone Inn & Suites – Manning: This hotel has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (712) 655-4000 for reservations. Their address is 120 Heritage Drive, Manning, IA 51455.

Days Inn by Wyndham Carroll: It boasts a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their contact number is (712) 227-1403. The address for this hotel is 1127 US-30, Carroll, IA 51401.