By Richard Thomas
When Iowa’s Templeton Rye declared they were selling whiskey made from a Prohibition era recipe when they were really trucking in stock rye whiskey from Indiana, they so tainted Iowa’s Prohibition history that some cast doubt on the very notion that there had ever been moonshiners and bootleggers in the Hawkeye State. Now another whiskey company has come along, Legendary Rye Whiskey, to lay claim to Iowa’s illicit rye whiskey legacy.
Based in Carroll, Iowa, Legendary Rye Whiskey is a family enterprise, run by Rich and Lisa Eggers. According to Siouxland Matters, Rich claims to have grown up in distilling whiskey, and that his rye whiskey mashbill is a family heirloom. Based on the descriptions offered in the book Gentleman Bootleggers, what Eggers is making is very similar to the sugar-spiked, rye-based moonshines that were made in Iowa during the Depression.