Are Templeton Rye’s Whiskey-Bred Pigs a Publicity Stunt?

PDT’s Old Fashioned made with bacon-infused bourbon is next-level, but the creators of Templeton Rye are taking the concept of combining pork and whiskey to the next next level. They are breeding pigs that taste like whiskey, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. But is it a legitimate gastronomic experiment, or a shrewd publicity stunt? 

Templeton Rye has been feeding 25 red Duroc pigs a special diet prepared by Mark Betram, who has a Ph.D. in swine nutrition from Iowa State University. The pigs have been eating “spent grain by-product from the production of Templeton Rye Whiskey.” 

This sort of limelight capturing narrative isn’t foreign to the whiskey company. In his American Whiskey Bourbon & Rye, Clay Risen dismisses Templeton’s small-batch, Prohibition-era recipe as marketing: “It’s not made in ‘small batches’ but at the sprawling MGP distillery—which is not in Templeton, Iowa, but rather Lawrenceburg, Ind.” 

We still can’t help but be curious. Will the pork actually taste like whiskey? [Bloomberg Businessweek] [Photo: Flickr/Peter Pearson]