For at least one day, the most important employee at the Iowa Legendary Rye distillery was a pooch.
Distillery CEO Heath Schneider makes small-batch rye whiskey with the recipe used by his grandmother, Lorine Sextro. She was a bootlegger, making rye whiskey on her family farm in Iowa. Now, a dog (and, fine, some humans) have located her original equipment, which was buried underground for almost 90 years in an effort to avoid detection by those meddling Feds.
To uncover the buried treasure, Iowa Legendary hired specialists to use a specially trained sniffer dog that can follow the scent of rye. That pup, along with metal detectors, helped unearth some of what they were looking for. The yearlong search to find a still and 15 barrels believed to have been buried at Sextro's former farm outside Templeton, Iowa was successful. Last week, the still and a few bottles believed to have once contained Sextro's rye were found.