In 2010, the Journeyman Distillery was built from a renovated 19th century factory located in Three Oaks, Michigan. The factory was previously owned by businessman E.K. Warren, who built an empire with a product called the Featherbone (an innovative process which revolutionized the way women's corsets were made). E.K. Warren was also known for being a stanch prohibitionist. Legend has it that he bought up all the liquor licenses in the county pre prohibition, to put an end to drinking. The folks at Journeyman Distillery have named their bourbon after Warren's famous product, and they love the irony that their whiskey is now being made at the historic factory.
All of the grains used at the distillery are USDA organic and more or less local. Most bourbons use corn, barley, rye OR wheat in their mashbill, but Featherbone Bourbon uses all four: 70% corn, 20% wheat, with a "dash of rye and a bit of malted barley". It is bottled at 90 proof with no age statement. Do some research and you will find the whiskey is aged for one year in new, charred 15-gallon white oak barrels from Minnesota.
Color: Bright amber
Nose: Corn, granny smith apples, vanilla, caramel toffee, baking spices.
Taste: For a 90 proof whiskey, this has a nice chewy mouthfeel. Sour apples coat the tongue with waves of vanilla sweetness opening up the palate. These give way to a spicy rye punch.
Finish: A strong tobacco note lingers for a medium-long finish.
Conclusion: Before I wrap up this review, I'd like to thank the fine folks at Journeyman Distillery for providing me with this sample of Featherbone Bourbon. It is the first craft bourbon I've had that uses corn, wheat, rye and barley; the grains play off and balance each other fairly well for a unique pour. Keep a look out for Journeyman Distillery and their products at your local pub, they are definitely worth a try!
My Rating: B (Good)