Fernet, Letherbee Distillers
Chicago bartender Brenton Engel first began making moonshine in his basement back in 2007—before, in fact, he even began bartending. His “Illinois Joy” began making the rounds among the city’s chefs and bartenders and soon developed a cult following. Learning to combine flavors behind the bar—particularly the herbs and spices which lend depth to gin—Brenton set up shop as an artisanal distiller, and the newly minted Letherbee label released its flagship gin in the spring of 2012, quickly growing with the addition of other herbaceous and aromatic spirits.
Letherbee’s approach to distilling is guided by a clear set of values. With passion for the therapeutic nature of herbal spirits and a commitment to rejecting any outside commercial influence in favor of creative vision, Letherbee has become recognized across the country for their integrity in both production and philosophy.
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Gentler than many on the market, Letherbee Fernet offers the prominent saffron kick one expects from this category of Italian-inspired bitter liqueur but supports it with rhubarb root and myrrh, providing a soft bitterness to the spirit’s backbone. Twenty additional botanicals, including spearmint and eucalyptus, combine to create a nose of mint, black tea, and wet earth with a palate of stewed herbs, orange zest, and camphor creating lingering depth. 35% ABV