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I really can't see much distinction between what Templeton Rye sells and what Rudy Kurniawan sold. It is fraud. They have intentionally created a backstory and pedigree  of a product that is not true, and once you taste the whiskey, it is readily apparent (to me)

But as I type this, staring at a 3/4 full bottle of Templeton Rye I bought last weekend that I fucking hate, I take solace in the fact that I absolutely adore *gulp*  Whistle Pig 10 Year Rye.

So can I be angry at only the distillers who defraud me and I hate their product? I mean, I have purchased $500 worth of Whistle Pig this year with no regrets, but I stare at the bottle of Templeton with disgust and animous.

The alcoolic beverage industry is full of this bullshit. Time to open up a bottle of Donhoff, where the Germans make sure you know exactly what's in the bottle. Or should be.

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I think that the problem is that someone can bottle something they don't make and not have to declare the fact.  In the Single Malt world, there is a fine tradition of barrel bottlers who take barrels that are not appropriate for the distillery bottling {which is designed to reflect an unchanging house style} and bottle them with full disclosure.  The best Caol Ilas are always barrel bottlers examples {A McMurray & David, a bottle I enjoyed in Montalcino at our local bar for 5euro a shot}.  THe distillery version is never even interesting.  So I totally disagree with the idea that there is something intrinsically wrong with the practive of barrel selling.

And the statement that no one sells there "best" is demonstrably laughable.  To a large label, the consistency of the brand is job#1 and a barrel that has too much individuality to contribute to that has less value than it does to an independent bottling.  The secondary barrel market allows these bottles that can be argued to be better than the distillery big brands a chance for life on their own.  However in single malt scotch, the distillery is the selling point so you see the source of the barrl on the bottle when it is a single malt.  The blends are now being sold under the bottler labels.  Again, it is transparent.

Caoctin Creek is not great because it brews their own rye, but because they brew a good rye.  So does Dad's Hat.  But other "micro distilleries" make junk.

The issue is that US labeling law sucks.  It is all about how much you can lie on the label.  Wineries say you  can't possibly list all the varietals in wines that vary from year to year.  Bull! Ridge has been doing exactly that since 1969 or so.  Mondavi managed to have the Napa valley defined to include their vineyards in another adjacent valley included int eh Napa boundaries.  Silverado did the same with vineyards that clearly were outside the Stag's Leap District included in that appellation.   Balsamic vinegars can use labels with age statement that there is no documentation for, but people who can document are not allowed to create new labels with age statements.  Prosciutto can use age statements from the date of production until the day the product is taken out of bond for sale, even though aging on happens n he bone.  The lies go on and on.

The only guarantee, under the current situation, is the name on the label.  Some of the bottlings mentioned in the article are quite good and others are bilge.  But do you want to argue that Willet isn't some of the finest rye and bourbon around? It's all barrel business for their top aged bottlings {Jake will have to speak as to whether the entire line is spirits purchased and bottled by Willet, I am not sure}.

What the hell, I am drinking rum tonight anyways!

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