The Ottumwa Courier

December 26, 2013

Iowa whiskey company finding success, history

Ottumwa Courier

---- — SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa-based whiskey company has shot to success since becoming a licensed brand eight years ago.

Sioux City television station KTIV ( ) reports that Templeton Rye whiskey became an officially licensed brand on Christmas Eve of 2005. The company, based in the small town of Templeton, has gained national recognition since then and is now shipping bottles to 40 states.

"We're still very small on the grand scheme of things, but there (are) a lot of Templeton fans around the country," said Scott Bush, president of Templeton Rye.

Templeton Rye whiskey was first made during prohibition in the 1920s, and it has been produced since then. Bush is a great-nephew of some of the original producers of the whiskey. He said he wanted to preserve a piece of history.

"I grew up hearing the stories about Templeton Rye, and as I got older, I just thought, 'Man, that story and that history is something that should not go away,'" Bush said.

Bush said there isn't a lot of documentation available about Templeton Rye, because the brand was illegal for so long. But he said they've started interviewing people with stories about the whiskey to develop an oral history. He said they have roughly 100 videos on YouTube.

"There (are) so many cool stories. We have the 'Last Step House' across the street, where supposedly a gentleman was making Templeton in the basement and became engulfed in the fumes and tried to get out, and made it to the last step. There's a tombstone in town that's hollowed because it used to be a drop point for Templeton Rye," Bush said.


Information from: KTIV-TV,