An Iowa Distillery is Trying to Raise Pigs That Taste Like Whiskey

We've long known that whiskey and pork products produce great complementary flavors; it's the reason whiskey-based BBQ sauces are so delicious. But now one popular Iowa distillery has boldly asked the question, "hey, what if we streamlined that whole process?"

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, Templeton Rye distillery has partnered with a farm nearby to raise 25 pigs and try to make them taste like Oink Daniels. Surprisingly, the pigs aren't being whiskified by drinking sweet American amber — that probably wouldn't work and, as the distillery's co-founder Keith Kerkhoff points out, would make it a pretty expensive experiment. Instead, they're being turned into Johnny Walker Bacon (seriously, I've got like fifty of these puns) by adding dried grains from Templeton Rye's whiskey-making process into their feed. As purebred Duroc pigs, they're already known for their meat quality; Templeton Rye is just hoping they can make them that much more delicious. They've already received quite a lot of interest already, even without anyone knowing how the experiment will turn out, including some inquiries by famous chefs such as Stephanie Izard of Chicago, previous winner of Top Chef. We'll receive a final answer on whether the experiment was a success some time in June, when Templeton Rye holds a tasting in Des Moines.

I'm torn, here. On the one hand, pork/bacon/ham do not need to be made any more delicious — they're probably the greatest meats in existence. But on the other hand...what if they COULD be even better? Could human beings even fathom that new, porkgasmic reality? How could we handle it?


Do we even want to find out what lies on the other side of that pork event horizon? Wouldn't we all instantly go insane, having stared into the face of the beautiful, glorious abyss, or minds far too fragile for the strain? The fate of nations could ride on our never discovering. Whiskey-flavored pork could be the end of civilization as we know it.

I don't know about you guys, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.


Image via Jag_cz/Shutterstock.