Lovers of Templeton Rye doubtless know by now that December 7th marks the day when it should be widely available. Aficionados of this fantastic rye have long waited for this day. For years, the shelves have rarely had a single bottle for sale. When word gets out that a shipment has arrived at some particular location, the new bottles are snatched up before the first mote of dust can settle on the cap. Time will tell if Templeton Rye will just become another regional rye whiskey once the hoopla dies down after it is more generally available. But regardless, I won’t have be so stingy on using Templeton Rye for Manhattan Cocktails either — and the local drinking establishments might actually be able to mix me a Templeton Rye-based Manhattan as well. Of course, few such places can mix a half-decent Manhattan, but that will be the topic of a different posting.
December 8, 2010 Update: Well, its December 8th and the stores have already run out of Templeton Rye. Supposedly, this is the fault of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division, which is holding back on delivering its supplies so it does not run out half way through the year. Well, I have to say that given the lack of Templeton Rye in the bars I’ve experienced some other Rye Whiskeys and they have, honestly, left me wondering how much of this Templeton Rye craze is just that — a craze. Of course it is a craze that other small batch distillers can only wish for. I’ll try some blind taste tests of some of the other high-grade rye whiskeys out there to find out.