New Name, Same Great Rye



The first batch of our rye was distilled in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. When we decided to name it, we wanted to pay tribute to its humble beginnings and say thanks to Chicago. Our names have always told a story and what better place to start than at the beginning?

Well, that story is about to enter a new chapter. Earlier this year we were plugging along, turning grain and water and yeast into whiskey and trying to keep up with ever-growing demand, when we received a cease and desist letter. Apparently there’s a winery out in California that goes by Ravenswood and it’s owned by one of those giant beverage companies with more money than they know what to do with. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, because they do seem to like to give it away to lawyers.

They seem to believe that you, the discerning customer, could possibly mistake their wine for our whiskey. Now, we’ve never tried their wine, but if it could be confused with our whiskey that’s some pretty unique and very tasty wine.

We could have fought them but that would have cost a lot of money and time. Money and time that would go to lawyers instead of making whiskey. We love our lawyers, but, frankly, we’d rather spend that money on making the best whiskey we can rather than financing a new boat.

Instead we made whiskey out of a cease-and-desist letter (not literally) and spent that money where it belongs. Henceforth Ravenswood Rye will be known as Last Feather Rye. Why Last Feather? Those corporate giants tried to take the raven away from us and they nearly succeeded. It flew off, back to its original home in Chicago, but it left behind one Last Feather. Now that’s a story.

If you see a bottle of Last Feather Rye at your local bottle shop or watering hole, know that it’s the same great rye you’ve loved since day one. It’s still made with the same organic grain in the same tiny Michigan distillery one small batch at a time. The only thing that’s changed is the name. And if you happen to find one of the last bottles labeled Ravenswood Rye, grab one and hold onto it because it’s the last of its kind. Then, one day, break it out, tell its story and raise a toast to the little guy.

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  1. sylvi wong
    Posted July 1, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Love your product! I stopped by Cask (San Francisco, CA) last weekend looking for something new and they recommended the Ravenswood Rye. Sampled it, neat, yesterday and was amazed; very smooth, nicely balanced, good price point. Went back today and bought remaining bottles after reading your story! Aloha

  2. Edward Conn
    Posted July 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Gent’s & Ladies, your telling of that story was spot on when it comes to Large Corp America, but THANK GOD we have the “smaller, higher quality” folks in both the distilling & brewery ends of the industry with stories such as this where you don’t back down, you adapt because of your loyal lovers of the spirits you make! CHEERS and Thank you for such great product for us to enjoy….

    NW Indiana, USA

  3. David E. Griffith
    Posted August 2, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Just some thoughts:

    1. I’ve been to Journeyman’s Distillery;
    2. I’ve purchased (and drunk (?) drank (?)) many of your products;
    3. I love both your products and your distillery;
    4. I’m a lawyer;
    5. Most lawyers I know are . . . well, I’ll keep this nice, suffice it to say that they’re not very pleasant people, which is why I work for my state’s supreme court in its Disciplinary Commission; and,
    6. Great story!!

    Please keep up the great work you are doing! The next time my wife and I are in SW Michigan, we will be sure and stop in.

    Thank you.

    • Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink


      By no means a shot at all lawyers, just those pesky ones that can’t tell the difference between whiskey and wine. We like the very pleasant ones like yourself. Can’t wait for you to stop by!

  4. Eric E
    Posted August 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    (Nashville, TN) Just stopped by a local liquor store and sampled Ravenswood Rye from a private barrel select bottling. One sip and I knew I was buying a bottle. I’m half tempted to go buy another. Great job!

  5. Posted August 28, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Nice story. Nicely done!

  6. Phil Epstein
    Posted September 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I have bottle number 25 of the original 100 bottles. My son (the lawyer) and I plan to finish it at his wedding. So I guess I’ll stop by and get some of the new label!

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 6, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    As a Californian, we’re not keen on giant beverage companies from New York buying up our local brands, even if their products are basically just “somewhat drinkable”. If I were them however, I WOULD be jealous of your far superior rye product. Since the best revenge is greater success, I’m going to take a couple bottles of your rye to vendors in the SF Bay Area and request that they stock it. Then execs from New York visiting the winery area can see your product on a higher shelf while theirs is down towards the floor.

    Maybe the Last Feather will have the last word.

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