Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey
Featherbone is a 45% ABV bourbon distilled from organic Midewest corn, wheat, rye and barley malt. It is currently available in both the US and France
Why we like it:
Featherbone Bourbon is artisianlly made in Michigan, which is a little unusual and different for an American whiskey. Every aspect of production is carried out at the distillary (distillation, bottling, packaging, etc.) and much of it by hand. I appreciate that personal passion for and dedication to your product (especially when it adds to a good end result). The base ingredients of this bourbon shine through nicely when tasted neat; there’s a distinct sweetness from the wheat and spice from the rye.
Featherbone Bourbon will work well for new-to-whiskey drinkers with warm vanilla aromas and a rather easy-going personality. It also benefits from being used for an Old Fashioned (see recipe notes below.)
Where to buy it in France:
Featherbone Bourbon is distributed in France through L’Explorateur du Goût, a small distribution company focusing on artisanal, authentic and quality products. Feather bone Bourbon is currently available in several boutiques and cavistes throughout Paris and elsewhere in France.
Some locations currently offering it:
- Cave Ampelos (7è)
- Caves Vignon (8è)
- Bouquet des Vins (11è)
- Se Mettre au Verre (15è)
- Esprit 50 cl (11è)
- La Fontaine aux Vins (5è)
- Les Grandes Caves (7è, 16è, 17è, 18è, Clichy)
- Paris Cave (6è)
- Le Magasin Général (Bordeaux)
- Maison Clément (Tours)
- BH Corner (Bordeaux)
- Caves Pierre Noble (Rouen, Evreux, Elbeuf)
(US readers can check their site for where to buy)
Where to taste it neat or in cocktails:
Bar le Forvm.
What you’ll pay for it:
What to do with it:
-4 cl Featherbone Bourbon
-2 dashes Angostura bitters*
-1 cl simple syrup**
Pour into old fashioned glass over ice and stir.
*I tried this recipe with a variety of aromatic bitters and preferred Angostura bitters, which really brought out the rye spice.
**I tried with both granulated sugar and simple syrup and preferred the mouth feel and added sweetness with the simple syrup. While many of the tasting notes talk about its sweetness, I personally find a lot of dryness and spice to it that is nicely balanced by the syrup (which also more thoroughly mixes with the whiskey as opposed to granules which can leave some of the sugar on the bottom of the glass). I also find the texture to be on the thinner side (also contrary to some other tasting notes suggested an oily feel) that was made pleasantly heavier with thicker simple syrup.
What to know about its backstory:
Featherbone is distilled in a historic building founded by EK Warren (a prohibitionist in his day!) as a buggy whip and corset factory. Warren was responsible for replacing the commonly used stiff whalebone in corsets with featherbone. Thus, the name…
What else to know about it:
Journeyman Distillery is an Organic Spirits Distillery, certified by the Midwest Organic Services Association. While whiskey is their main focus, they also offer other organic spirits.
If you happen to be in Michigan, you can tour the distillery or take your brunch there. You can also check their website to see about joining in the bottling process for an opportunity to check it out first hand and meet the distillers.