Class action lawsuit claims Templeton Rye customers were misled
A class action complaint alleged the makers of Iowa’s Templeton Rye whiskey lied to customers and charged them a premium price for a product that isn’t really made in Iowa.
Templeton Rye Spirits, LLC, is headquartered in Templeton, a small town in Carroll County, Iowa. They own a distillery there, but a complaint filed in Cook County, Illinois alleged Templeton Rye whiskey is actually distilled and aged at a factory in Indiana where whiskey is also distilled and aged for “dozens of other brands.”
The complaint said the whiskey is then shipped to, and bottled in, Templeton.
The complaint alleges Templeton Rye “knows that consumers are willing to pay more for a ‘small-batch’ Iowa whiskey because the quality is higher, and Plaintiff and consumers believe they are paying costs associated with higher-quality ingredients and for small-scale production.” Templeton Rye typically sells for about $35 per bottle, the complaint said.
T-shirts, flyers and other marketing materials, as well as the company’s lack of action to clarify the production location, contributed to convincing consumers that Templeton Rye was made in Iowa, the complaint said.
The lawsuit was filed by Christopher McNair of Chicago, and on behalf of “all individuals in the United States who purchased a bottle of Templeton Rye.” The action seeks unspecified “monetary, actual, consequential, and compensatory damages” and “other and further relief as equity and justice may require.”
“On its website, the company has highlighted the positive benefits it’s brought to the Carroll County city of Templeton, including putting more than $1 million back into the local economy. The company hopes to begin building a distillery in Templeton in 2015 to bring its distilling functions back to Iowa,” said a report from the Des Moines Register.