Whatever troubles Templeton Rye may have concerning its labels and marketing strategies, I for one rather like the product. And were there any remaining doubts that the minds behind it were not filled with creativity, this story should put them to rest. Every time we think we’ve reached Peak Bacon in the meme department, someone comes along to top it. In the cocktail world, bacon fat-washing has been the leader in the clubhouse for so long, it is practically ho-hum now. But if making your whiskey taste like bacon is fun, thought the people at Templeton, how awesome would it be to make your bacon taste like whiskey?
Rye. Flavored. Pig.
The idea is fairly simple: If you feed your pigs on spent rye mash, and they will grow up to possess a flavor hearkening to the spicy undertones of the whiskey that mash was used to make. It makes a sort of brilliant sense; after all, you are what you eat, right? Popular Mechanics has a fun little writeup on how Templeton put this to the test. On first read, you’d think that these 50 mash-fed porkers (now gleefully consumed) were the culinary equivalent to the Alfa-Romeo 4c. But alas, PM leans more to the Popular in its moniker than the Mechanics in this article.
The sad truth is in there, though. “‘There’s no way for anyone to take a bite of the pork and taste that it has 20 percent Templeton mash in the feed,’ says Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, who cooked one of the pigs for a themed dinner at her Little Goat Diner, in Chicago.”
So no whiskey-flavored pork loin just yet, cocktail folk. You may return to your regularly-scheduled fat washing until further notice.