Thursday, January 5, 2017

Journeyman Distillery Featherbone Bourbon

- $45
- 90 Proof
- Batch No. 61

Featherbone Bourbon hails from Journeyman Distillery, out of Three Oaks, Michigan. I see the Journeyman Distillery lineup pretty regularly on shelves around the Chicago area, but I'm not sure to what extent they have more than a regional reach. In any event, aside from a couple collaboration whiskeys, I had never tried anything from Journeyman, so I decided to finally give their bourbon a shot.

Coming from a relatively young craft distillery, I fully expected this to be a young and undeveloped bourbon. No age is stated on the bottle, and it's not advertised as a "straight" bourbon, which tells me it's likely younger than two years. Interestingly, though, it is advertised as "handmade" and "organic." Not that either of these characteristics were a selling point for me, but interesting to note.

The nose on this bourbon is very good. It's got all sorts of deliciousness going on, with the delicious scent of butterscotch candy blending nicely with sweet pipe tobacco. This is one that could be turned into a candle scent, as I could just sit there sniffing it all day.

Unfortunately, however, the nose was really the best part of this bourbon. As I have noted in many young craft bourbons, there is a distinct sour, rotten apple flavor that makes me pucker and even cringe a little with each sip. It's hard to describe exactly, but it reminds me of the flavor I get when I've bitten into an apple that has been sitting out too long and is well past it's peak ripeness. It's a flavor that is impossible to enjoy and difficult to get past.

While I didn't find that flavor as offensive as I have found it in other young craft bourbons, it nonetheless dominated the taste buds from start to finish. Other flavors were able to sneak their way through onto my palate. It had a nice black pepper spice to it that showed promise, and at times a certain tangy-ness, kind of like orange peel made its way through. It also comes across as a sweeter bourbon, with brown sugar being the primary, traditional flavor that came through.

In the end, I found myself working at getting through this bottle, and I'd much rather enjoy my bourbon. I'm willing to give other Journeyman products a try. In particular, I want to try their Last Feather Rye, as I've found that smaller distilleries such as this can really excel in the rye category. But as to their Featherbone Bourbon, I was disappointed.

Grade: C-

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