Review: Journeyman Distillery Whiskeys: Silver Cross, Ravenswood Rye, and Featherbone Bourbon

Review: Journeyman Distillery Whiskeys: Silver Cross, Ravenswood Rye, and Featherbone Bourbon

With over a dozen spirits on offer, Three Oaks, Michigan-based Journeyman Distillery has a specific focus on craft whiskeys, bottling six expressions of the stuff in its permanent lineup. Here we review three — all young and punchy, and all worth sampling at least once.

Thoughts follow.

Silver_sqJourneyman Distillery Silver Cross Whiskey – Made from a mash of equal parts rye, wheat, corn, and barley. No age statement. The nose is youthful and grain-focused, with citrus notes and some sea salt character along with touches of menthol. The body, as you might expect, has a ton going on. Alongside some surprisingly supple grains, I get notes of chocolate caramels, butterscotch, and Bit-O-Honey. It’s a rustic liquid dessert all the way — unusual for a young craft whiskey. A drop or two of water goes a long way toward smoothing out its rough edges and coaxing the sweetness forward. 1% of proceeds from the sale of this product go to a local golf-oriented charity. 90 proof. A- / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Journeyman Distillery Ravenswood Rye – Our second look at this spirit. An organic blend of Minnesota rye and Michigan wheat, aged in 15 gallon barrels. No age statement. Notes of licorice and phenol on the nose, settling into an intense herbal character. The body is racy and on par with craft expectations: Very young, punchy, and heavy on granary notes. Give it some time, though. As with Silver Cross, notes of chocolate and caramel emerge, along with touches of orange peel, quinine, and a touch of Bing cherries. Less enticing than the Silver Cross (though, againFeatherbone_750, water is of benefit here), but a solid effort. Reviewed: Batch #29, bottle #50. 90 proof. B / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Journeyman Distillery Featherbone Bourbon – Named for the Featherbone Factory, a Prohibition-era factory that made buggy whips and corsets and in which Journeyman is now based. Made of midwest organic corn, Michigan wheat, a little rye, and malted barley. Noage information offered. Credible craft bourbon here. It’s frontier style stuff, with a grainy, rustic attack, but the body settles down to reveal lots of vanilla, milk chocolate, and a touch of hazelnut. As with the Silver Cross, Featherbone eschews fruit in favor of dessert, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 90 proof. B+ / $45  [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Journeyman Distillery Silver Cross Whiskey




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Daniel on January 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Tried the Journeyman Featherbone Single Barrel this evening. Really excellent and very successful artisanal bourbon. Small cask, about 10 gallons or so, and the bourbon about 1 year in the cask. Nice color. Took about 15-20 minutes to really open up. On the first sip out of the bottle with no opening up time allowed it was very disappointing and hot. Give this one a few minutes to really get going.

    Light, almost sweet nose and beautiful classic bourbon notes on the pallet. Long finish, longer than any finish I’ve experienced. Fifteen minutes later I was still getting beautiful hints of it. Very unusual. Really an excellent job by the bourbon makers there. Compliments to them. I wish it was a bit less expensive, but I think they’ve done a great job.

    Compliments to you Christopher on this excellent blog.


  2. Georges on December 27, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I have a bottle of Featherbone that I use when taste testing with friends. I have a nice assortment of Bourbon. Some rare, some expensive, some cheap. It’s nice to get a contrast of favors and types when tasting. I can pick any 6 bottles and show the positive aspects of each one. I use the Featherbone in the middle. 3 less expensive bottles first, all Good and typically starting with W.L. Weller Special reserve. Then the Featherbone to show how awful a Bourbon can taste. Then some Barterhouse, Elmer T Lee, 4 Roses Single barrel, Blantons ect. Then the big finish, Pappy 12yr Lot “B”, Pappy 20yr. The Featherbone would make Cat urine taste delicious. It shows how good a lesser expensive Bourbon can taste and how truly Fantastic a great Bourbon tastes. The only way to enjoy Featherbone is still sealed.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.