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  • Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey
  • Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey
  • Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey

Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey

This wheated bourbon, which also contains locally-sourced barley and rye, is certified organic and aged for at least one year in small, newly-charred American oak casks.

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The Featherbone Factory — built by E.K. Warren in the 19th century to manufacture women's corsets — sits on the banks of Lake Michigan just across the Indiana border in Three Oaks, Michigan. As the factory changed hands in the twentieth century, it became a production site for everything from buggy whips to pickles. Today, it's home to Journeyman Distillery and Bill Welter, Journeyman's master distiller.

Welter, who was formerly a banker in Indiana, began his Journey when his family business was sold in 2006. He moved to Scotland, where he began to learn the art of craft distillation from Greg Ramsay (master distiller at Nant Distillery) and Bill Lark (master distiller at Lark Distillery). After returning to the United States, Welter apprenticed with Robert Koval of Koval Distillery before opening the doors of his own distillery in Three Oaks.

Featherbone Bourbon is made by distilling a mash of 70 percent corn, 20 percent wheat and a bit of barley and rye through a 1000-liter, copper pot still imported from Germany. Welter sources the corn and rye from a farmer in Illinois, and the wheat from a local farmer in Michigan. The grains are produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, artificial pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, feed additives, or genetically modified organisms and enable Journeyman Distillery — and all of its products — to be certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association.

Following distillation, Welter ages the bourbon for one year in newly charred, 15-gallon, American oak casks. The small casks, which result in more contact between the bourbon and the oak than traditional casks, allow for faster maturation, and contribute notes of vanilla, caramel and cracked black pepper to the bourbon. Following maturation, Welter fills and labels each bottle by hand.

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Light chestnut color. Aromas of vanilla and caramel, along with some citrus and cracked black pepper. Malted cereal and whipped cream notes on the palate, which lead to a bright, textured finish complete with cherry and tobacco.

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