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Whiskey Review: Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish

Editor’s Note: This whisk(e)y was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

During the Prohibition Era, it is said Templeton, Iowa became a hot spot for their illegal production of excellent and highly sought after rye whiskey. According to legend, the Iowan rye whiskey became the favorite of the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone, who had it delivered into his prison cell illegally after being convicted for tax evasion. 

Templeton Distillery, best known for its rye whiskey focus, recently launched Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish as the fourth expression from Templeton’s limited-edition Barrel Finish Series, which was first introduced in 2019. The first three expressions from it include the 2021 Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish, the 2020 Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, and the 2019 Maple Cask Finish. 

All four expressions are the result of Templeton’s goal of producing whiskeys they feel highlight innovative twists on what a rye whiskey can be. 

“This year, our Stout Cask Finish expression provides a fresh perspective and has proven disruptive within our Barrel Finish Series, mixing subtle coffee tones with rye pepper and spice,” said Blair Woodall, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Templeton Distillery in a prepared statement. “This new-to-market release is sure to elevate any classic cocktail.” 

With a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish is aged six years in new American oak flame-charred barrels. It is then finished in bourbon barrel-aged chocolate coffee stout casks for three months. Bottled at 92 proof (46% ABV), this limited series expression is sold on allocation in both the US and EU. 

Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish review

Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish (image via Templeton)

Tasting Notes: Templeton Rye Stout Cask Finish

Vital Stats: Aged six years and three months, 95% rye, 5% malted barley mash bill, 92 proof (46% ABV), 750 ml MSRP $53. 

Appearance: Auburn.

Nose: On the nose are rich, herbaceous notes of cinnamon, red berries, green bell pepper, caramel, and grapefruit zest. 

Palate: Some sort of polish (leather or wood?) permeates throughout while notes of pine, peppercorn, sweet salt, and fresh cut grass give way to undertones of molasses, black cherry, and dark chocolate. 

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