REVIEW: FEW SPIRITS RYE WHISKEY
I'm going to go ahead and get this out there. I can't hold back any longer. I don't only drink scotch. Yes, it is my first love, it is what I always naturally gravitate towards, and luckily it has led me to some other amazing whiskies out there. Rye, for example, is one of those that I've really been getting quite cozy with. I think that my love for cask strength scotch has led me to those spicier, higher proof ryes, that really pack in a lot of flavor.
This bottle showed up from a friend, via The Whisk(e)y Fairy, and I was happy to dig into it, as I have never had anything from the folks over at FEW. Founder and Master Distiller, Paul Hletko, opened up FEW in Evanston, Illinois in 2011 as a way to continue the family tradition of distilling! His grandfather owned a large brewery in what is now the Czech Republic, but sadly lost it to the Nazi invasion. FEW is a lovely tribute to his grandfather and a way to continue what his grandfather started many many years ago! One of the things I admire most about what Paul is doing, is that he sources all of his ingredients within 150 miles of the distillery. If he can't grow it, he buys it locally, and everything is whipped up from scratch on site! And a fun fact about FEW: they are Evanston's first grain spirits distillery. It was a dry city for over 100 years, and operating distilleries remained illegal until Paul fought to have those rules overturned in 2011! Also, he once owned and operated a record label, which is truly near and dear to my heart as the music business was my pre whisk(e)y career!
Now for the details on the whiskey!
FEW RYE WHISKEY
MASHED, FERMENTED, DISTILLED, AGED, AND BOTTLED IN EVANSTON, ILLINOIS.
$55 - BASED ON CALIFORNIA PRICING, BUT WILL VARY DEPENDING ON LOCATION.
MASHBILL: 70% RYE, 20% CORN, 10% MALTED BARLEY.
NOSE: stewed bananas. Toasted cereal grains, and an earthy aroma that that mellows out the sweetness. Some burnt wood notes trail with nutmeg spice.
PALATE: This one gets greedy and really takes over your whole mouth. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thinner, but has great waves of flavor. It dances around your mouth a bit with lovely mild baking spices with little bubbles of marshamallowy burnt sugar sweetness. Almost reminds me of boozy rice crispy treats. The rye is more forward, but mellow. If you move your tongue around while its resting in your mouth, there is almost a faint almond extract profile thats really delicious. Its grassy and earthy, but not in a "oh my gosh my kid just ate dirt" kind of way. Its more of a "vacationing on a ranch in the open plains" kind of earthy that is accompanied so well by the little burst of sweetness.
FINISH: a little dry, but not in a bad way. Short to medium finish with more oak notes coming through.
OVERALL: I like it! Its got this earthy sweetness to it I'm really digging, but then has a mellow yet forward rye wave that hits you just right. A more approachable rye, and one that is true to its region, as it is made with locally sourced ingredients!
After having this, I can say that I will happily drink it again! While I selfishly wish it was a little punchier, its an easy, smooth sipper that has great balance. I'm looking forward to trying their gins and their bourbon as well! I'd love to hear your thoughts below on FEW!
ADDRESS: 918 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
The Small Print: All opinions and photos are my own! My glass is from the lovely Denver and Liely!