Review: Journeyman Ravenswood Rye Whiskey

journeyman ryeJourneyman Distillery operates in Three Oaks, Michigan, where it makes a wide range of white spirits and this rye, its only “brown” liquor at present (though numerous more are on the way).

Formerly made at the Koval Distillery, Journeyman is now making it at home. The mashbill is an unusual blend of Minnesota rye and (heavy) Michigan wheat, no corn. It is aged for an unstated amount of time in 15-gallon new oak barrels, then bottled at 90 proof.

This is clearly a younger rye but don’t let that turn you off — it’s quite lovable. The nose: Spicy, with clear (but pleasant) grain notes. The body brings a rush of sweetness, plenty of vanilla from those smaller barrels, but it’s not overdone like many small-barrel whiskeys. You won’t find sawdust or wood oil notes here, just fresh sugar mixed with racy baking spices, some citrus, and light touches of coal dust. The light funk of young whiskey does come along to mar an otherwise truly delightful rye, but that’s to be expected in a whiskey that’s clearly in its toddler years. Light and spry, this is a solid rye for almost any application.

Reviewed: Batch #4, Bottle #947 (375ml).

A- / $60 (750ml) / [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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3 Responses

  1. Edoc November 15, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    Sounds expensive for a young rye. I’ll probably stick with High West based on price/performance.

  2. TJA April 19, 2014 / 10:38 am

    this is a really nice rye….wicked smooth and a tinge of sweetness

  3. Smoq December 17, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I enjoy High West a lot, it became my favorite inexpensive whiskey and, in my opinion, Ravenswood has a very similar taste. Love both, try Journeyman’s if you enjoy High West, you won’t be disappointed.

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