Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon Review

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By S.D. Peters

Rating: B

Journeyman Featherbone

Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon
(Credit: Journeyman Distillery)

Last year I reviewed Journeyman’s W.R. Whiskey. This year I had the opportunity to taste Journeyman’s Featherbone Bourbon, which is named for the E.K. Warren Featherbone Factory, a corset and buggy-whip manufacturer that once occupied the grounds on which Journeyman Distillery now stands.

The Bourbon
Featherbone Bourbon comes in a flat, short-necked bottle with a wax seal and a distinguished, grainy label. Like all Journeyman spirits, Featherbone Bourbon is certified organic. The mashbill offers a lot of Midwest organic corn and a little bit of everything else, which includes Michigan wheat, rye and malted barley. The whiskey is bottled at 90 Proof (45% ABV), and has a light chestnut color.

As you can see from the mashbill, there’s plenty of grain variety in Featherbone Bourbon. The bourbonesque notes of Vanilla and caramel swirl in the nose. A twist of citrus and a dash of cracked black pepper temper, courtesy of the rye, temper the sweetness.

Mostly absent in the nose, the wheat and barley dominate the texture, which is soft and malty – a nice counterbalance to the lightly peppered vanilla sweetness that percolates in the flavor. The malt eventually transcends the texture and passes into the taste. The four-grain blend all comes together in the end, like naturally-sweetened organic cereal, with the wheat adding a mild creaminess for good measure.

The finish is long and surprising. Cherry-infused tobacco and weathered leather leap out and then dissipate in a long, slow, finish that reveals caramel and… watermelon! What is most surprising is the manner in which these flavors naturally flow into and complement each other. The watermelon chaser leaves a pleasant memory.

The Price
Journeyman products are making their way across to both coasts of the U.S., but still have the bulk of their distribution in the Midwest. Prices vary between $50-70 for a 750ml bottle of Featherbone Bourbon.

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