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Templeton targets global growth

With over 100 years of history, Templeton’s story is one of true authenticity and built on the shared experiences of the community.

Templeton opened its US$35 million whiskey distillery in Iowa in 2018

From the bootlegging era of Templeton Rye during Prohibition, the people of Templeton share a history of rebellious spirit and an entrepreneurial mindset that still holds true today.

Today, Templeton Rye Whiskey is part of the Infinium Spirits portfolio, a family-operated spirits company headquartered in San Diego, California. The renowned brand is also about to debut its own distillate out of the Templeton Distillery in Iowa and expand into new categories.

Templeton has notched up an impressive array of awards for its portfolio of rye whiskeys, which today includes a four‐year‐old, a six‐year‐old, and the 10 Year Single Barrel. A major milestone for Templeton came in 2018 when it cut the ribbon on its state-of-the-art 34,500-square-foot distillery, visitor centre and museum in the small town of Templeton, Iowa.

The eight-hectare site began distilling its own whiskey in early 2018, and has the capacity to make more than three million bottles annually and all styles of American whiskey under one roof.

Templeton Bourbon
Templeton Fortitude American Bourbon is made with locally grown corn

This was an important move into the distilling world that would allow the brand to control its own destiny in relation to distillation and maturation with ambitious growth plans for the brand in both North America and international export markets.

The US$35 million project also includes two 54,000sq ft maturation and barrel-ageing warehouses, and a bottling facility on site. What’s more exciting is the upcoming release of the distillery’s first Bourbon in 2024, made with a mash bill of 55% corn, 40% rye and 5% malted barley.

Bottled with natural colour, non-chill-filtered and with an ABV of 46%, Templeton Fortitude American Bourbon was aged in American oak virgin barrels with a char level of four, distilled using column and copper stills from the fabled Forsyth’s in Scotland. It was made with locally sourced raw materials, including corn grown from within 15 miles of the distillery in conjunction with local farms.

The new Bourbon brings Templeton into a new phase of the brand’s successful journey. Shane Fitzharris, senior vice-president, commercial at Infinium Spirits, said it marks the brand’s transition and evolution from an independent bottler to a distiller.

Fitzharris also said the aim is to innovate not just from a brand level, but from a fermentation, distillation and maturation level. The company aims to push boundaries on what can be achieved in American whiskey while also delving into other categories – such as American single malt – and looking at where it can drive sustainability along the way.

Looking to the future, Fitzharris would like to continue to innovate around all aspects of the distillation process, from sourcing its own grain to distillation, maturation, bottling and packaging, while at the same time look to evolve all aspects of the distillation process from field to bottle and lean into the local Iowa and Midwest terroir.

Infinium Spirits VP Shane Fitzharris
Shane Fitzharris, senior vice-president, commercial at Infinium Spirits

Templeton is currently one of the leading premium rye whiskey brands in the States with distribution in more than 70 countries across five continents through Infinium Spirits’ route to market. The brand has big ambitions to continue to grow internationally, after making its debut outside of the US in 2019.

“While currently going from strength to strength in China, we are also looking at specific areas in Asia where we see potential for growth,” said Fitzharris, including South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

The company is also looking to expand into additional European markets with Infinium Spirits’ presence at ProWein in Düsseldorf in March reflecting this ambition.

He added: “We have a global mindset at Infinium Spirits and see a massive opportunity for not just American Bourbon, but all American whiskey styles, outside of the US. The future is bright for Templeton Distillery and Infinium Spirits.”

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