DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Chicago law firm is suing Templeton Rye, alleging that the Iowa company broke consumer protection laws and misled drinkers with stories of its whiskey’s origins.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois on behalf of “all individuals in the United States who’ve purchased a bottle of Templeton Rye.” It comes after news in August that the whiskey is made using the stock recipe in an Indiana distillery, according to the Des Moines Register.
Since the company released its first bottles of whiskey in 2006, its marketing materials have said the founders were inspired by the Prohibition-era recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, handed down through his family on a scrap of paper. But in an interview last month with the Register, company chairman Vern Underwood said federal regulations prevent the company from making the whiskey using the Kerkhoff recipe.
The company also announced plans to begin printing on its labels that the whiskey is distilled in Indiana. According to the lawsuit, Templeton Rye worked to deceive drinkers into believing “the good stuff” was a craft whiskey made in Iowa. The complaint includes pictures of the company’s marketing tools, including a T-shirt that reads, “Templeton Rye: Made in Iowa.”