Years ago a humble Michigan distillery shocked the world of Bourbon fans with their Ravenswood Rye. Journeyman entered the ranks of my favorite whiskeys when I randomly discovered them on a trip back to Chicago, IL from Ann Arbor, MI. I stopped in there for a small break, about halfway through my trip. It didn't take long for me to decided that I need to order a flight of their whiskeys because the tiny hole in the wall atmosphere was so endearing I felt I needed to support this establishment. However, I was not about to drop $50 on whiskey I never tried, let alone whiskey of which I had never even heard. After looking around at the four shelves that constituted the "store," it was time for a taste (don't worry I did not drink to excess, this flight totals no more than 2 ounces of alcohol #drinkresponsibly ).
Because the world of Whiskey (and mostly any food item) is such a subjective realm, I feel I should give you some reference for my taste... before I tried their Ravenswood Rye, Templeton's Small Batch Rye was all alone in the world of Rye's that I adored. Well needless to say they had me at the first poor, but of the six different whiskeys I tried that day it was Silver Cross and Ravenswood that flew to the top of my new favorites chart.
Well, it has been over a year since I was introduced to this distillery all I can say is the Journeyman affair lives on...
Their new limited release rye, Fedralist 12th, is everything I expected and more. Starting out at a bold 90 proof, I expected this rye would drink slightly hotter than some of the more popular one's out there, and I was right.
Nose: The first sniff I took from my Glencairn was not exactly pleasant. But, on the second smell I was completely intrigued, the aroma had a hint of cinnamon and clove that was immediately drowned in a wash of maple. Finally, the third sniff brings out the hints of toasted marshmallow and tobacco.
Taste: The first burn is pleasant, tantalizing the tongue bringing forward all of the floral qualities of the mash bill. Then, moving to the sweetness of toffee, and finishing with the smoothness of butter and honey, with a salty aftertaste.
I give this $50 bottle a 3.75 of 5 stars.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on this delicious spirit.