The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2013

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of product, I received a call from out of the blue. The caller was Vern Underwood, Chairman of the Board of Young's Market Company, one of the most respected companies in the business. Mr. Underwood's first question was, 'Are the stories on your website true?' I answered 'yes' and Vern asked me to come to California to discuss a prospective relationship. Subsequently Vern and his team flew to Templeton and we made a deal to restructure the company and move forward. Our relationship has blossomed into not just a partnership, but also into a friendship. "Templeton is a very special place and it residents are very special people," Vern Underwood points out. "Without them and their industriousness, there would be no Templeton Rye. The company makes a point of hiring local residents and we try to give back to the community. We have recently pledged $250,000 to the city to assist in creating a community center. Our brand is anchored in Templeton, and we are always mindful of that." Therefore, it is any wonder that some mixologists, out of deference to Templeton's past, prefer to sometimes "hide" the bottle underneath the bar in jest. Or that there really is a Rye Avenue in the town of Templeton? Neither would surprise Al Capone. Templeton Worship by Rich Manning /photos by Anne Watson What happens when you put the folks behind Templeton Rye in front of a bunch of industry professionals? You get killer tales built around The Noble Experiment, run-ins with the law and erstwhile family secrets, of course, but you also get an appreciative audience that sucks up such stories like a tornado swirling through an Iowa cornfield. Such was the case on March 5, when Templeton Rye Founder Scott Bush and Master Distiller Keith Kerkhoff, along with sales personnel from Young's Market Company and Infinium Spirits, dropped by the iconic hillside restaurant Orange County Mining Company in Orange, CA for a special "Meet the Makers" event. For Bush, the presence of mixologists, restaurateurs and other brand advocates coming together and being Brian Swan, Associate Manager of captivated by his familial labor of Orange County Mining Company. love as they indulge in cocktails like Whiskey Barrel Punch fills him with a sheer sense of accomplishment. "Seeing so many people come out to an event like this in support of our product makes me proud of what we're doing, he says. "It's a special kind of testimony to " how well it's been received. " "Events like these are a great way to acknowledge those who have embraced what we do, adds Kerkhoff. "Hopefully, it also serves to further " educate our fans on what we're all about. " Indeed, Templeton Rye has enjoyed a rather lofty presence in the OC bar scene because of rabid advocacy from places like Orange County Mining Company; in fact, the restaurant's Associate Manager, Brian Swan, has ended up becoming a brand ambassador of sorts whenever the subject of whiskey crops up at his bar. "If a customer is at our bar and starts looking at our whiskies—and we have about 30 to 40 of them on display—I'll help them out by pointing them to Templeton, he says. "I like to show them what they've " been missing. " Whiskey Barrel Punch ◗ 2¾ oz. Templeton Rye  ◗  4½ oz. real grenadine ◗ 2½ oz. superfine sugar ◗ 8 oz fresh lemon juice ◗ Sparkling wine ◗ Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a Vern Underwood is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Templeton Rye Spirits and Chairman of the Board for Young's Market Company. large pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add Templeton Rye and grenadine and stir to combine. Refrigerate for an hour. Pour into punchbowl over a block of ice and add cherries or blackberries. Ladle into ice filled punch cups or goblets, and top with sparkling wine. april 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  45

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