It's rare to have a love/hate relationship with whiskey. OK, maybe it's not that rare, but for me it is. Templeton Rye has easily created such an experience, which for this whiskey drinker is hard to come by.

It's rare to have a love/hate relationship with whiskey. OK, maybe it's not that rare, but for me it is. Templeton Rye has easily created such an experience, which for this whiskey drinker is hard to come by.

The first time I was introduced to this whiskey - which has been available in Ohio since 2013, but I only tasted it recently - I was quickly taken aback by its smoothness and, more importantly, oddity, when it comes to rye. It didn't taste like any other rye I've had. It was better.

Then I found out why.

Apparently Templeton Rye is not what it says - although a Class Action suit has forced the company to be more transparent about its product. The short of it is that Templeton Rye claimed to be an Iowa-made whiskey, when it actually bought its spirit from a distillery based in Lawrenceburg, Indiana owned by conglomerate MGP of Indiana.

Now, this isn't rare or even egregious. (That Bulleit you're sipping comes from the same distillery.) The reason I was taken aback by this whiskey was because it's not straight; it's an amalgamation of ingredients.

Templeton Rye immediately reminded me of the supremely awesome Elias Staley Rye Whiskey, which is one of Ohio's best. Elias Staley uses a "Prohibition-era" recipe (with hops) and great-great-grandpa-old copper stills for its product. Templeton Rye also claims to use a similar recipe, but I guess that's not the case.

What makes this Templeton Rye a difficult beast to swallow has nothing to do with its taste. This is a whiskey that doesn't taste like regular whiskeys. From what I could find out from those who know more than me, Templeton mixes the whiskey from Lawrenceburg with their own special ingredients.

Whatever the Templeton distillery adds, detracts or changes, it works. The end product is an easily drinkable spirit, with an amount of complexity that will make even the most regular whiskey drinker ask, "What is this? I like it."

Don't ask. Ignorance is bliss.

Photo courtesy of Templeton Distillery