About Journeyman Not a King Rye Whiskey
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 spent time producing and resting whiskey using a prominent organic & kosher distiller’s facility in Chicago before opening the doors of his own distillery in Three Oaks with the intention to offer grain-to-glass spirits from day one/drop one.
Not a King Rye is a tribute to George Washington, who was not only the first US president, but also one of America’s first distillers. After his victory over the British, he was celebrated by the masses as the first King of America. Washington famously stated that he was “Not a King.” In honor of the first president, this limited release whiskey is made available on Presidents Day each year. This incredible spirit earned 5-stars / Highest Recommendation from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, and received a Gold medal at the 2018 Berlin International Spirits Competition.
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As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.