I first tried the Templeton Rye at Whisky Live in Boston and remember enjoying it. But now that I can sit back and make a study of it, I like it even more. A nose of hard pine stair treads in a quiet house, distilled prunes, and attar of roses. Reminds me of the time we were celebrity judges at a beauty pageant in an Eastern European country we cannot name because of nondisclosure agreements [Stephen: And that briefcase of cash.] [Bill: Dammit, Stephen, that’s why we signed the nondisclosure agreements!] The nose fills out with strawberry candy flavor for taffy, run-off from a hydroponic greenhouse, and a shotgun shell boutonniere held with twine.
The robustness of the nose cracks open like a filbert eaten with cheese and port. It’s light and a little fast and it’s…like matches made from Wellington boots (waterproof as hell, but even on a windless day it takes a couple of strikes to get it to ignite). And what an ignition it is! Long low notes on the finish like an unusual wolf pack that communicates by blowing into conch shells. Festive, yes, but undeniably eerie. Lavender and marjoram. A first-date matinee at the symphony that ends with an after hours tour of Bath & Body Works at the local mall, and you find yourself in that Viyella robe again and you wonder if you’re dreaming but you’re not.
The Templeton Rye is the Wolves of Paris–So basically, this pack of wolves terrorizes the citizens of Paris in the winter of 1450, killing forty people, until their leader, Courtaud (or “Bobtail”), and the rest of the pack are lured to the city center and stoned to death. [Stephen: Um, John, how is this like the whiskey?] [Bill: Dude, this fact is amazing!]
–Our thanks to Michael Killmer and Derik Malone for the sample!