Wines and Spirits we recommend: FEW Spirits
Posted by Braden Fraser, wines & spirits clerk at Byerly’s St. Louis Park
Thursday, May 30, 2013
FEW Spirits hails from Evanston, Ill. An American city that once suffered prohibition for more than 100 years now is home to an excellent craft distillery, which pays homage to its city's past.
The brand name FEW is both word play as a descriptor to the few batches they use) and as the initials of Frances Elizabeth Willard (1839 -1898), a key figure to the prohibition movement.
FEW's founder and master distiller, Paul Hletko, claims the first legal drops of pot distilled alcohol produced in Evanston came from his stills.
Made using a base of grain, including corn, wheat, and non-malted barley, FEW Gin incorporates 11 botanicals, including juniper, citrus peel, lemon, orange, Tahitian vanilla, cassia, grains of paradise and homegrown hops. Grainy tones are balanced enough by the juniper to give it a peppery bite. The distillers take a grain-to-glass approach to create a gin as fresh and crisp as any other on the market.
FEW White Whiskey
This whiskey is bottled exactly as it comes from the still. Crafted from 100% malted barley, it is intentionally left unfiltered to showcase its quality grains and craftsmanship. This white whiskey produces layers of malt, light spice and sweetness, with a gentle heat finish. This is a curious whiskey to be discovered straight or on ice.
FEW Rye Whiskey
This Whiskey melds 70% rye, 20% corn and 10% malted barley. A fruity aroma of apples, pears and plums leads into fruit-filled notes of unripe banana and candied orange peel. A long, lingering finish of oranges and spiced apples showcases the true quality of its balanced flavor profile. While this whiskey is aged approximately 18 months, fairly young for a rye whiskey, we can expect to see this style in the future being aged in cask for a longer period.
FEW Bourbon Whiskey
This blend of 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% malted barley showcases a bourbon with powerful spice notes and subtle earthy undertones. Not quite as sweet in comparison to many bourbons, the boldness of the rye spice is balanced by the smoothness of the malt. Light on the nose, hints of corn and vanilla lead into a complex rye spice that finishes with notes of cinnamon.
Bourbon vs. Whiskey
There are laws that make up the difference between bourbon and whiskey in the United State. Bourbon must consist of at least 51 percent corn; however most distillers choose to use around 75 percent. While whiskies are made all around the world, to have the bourbon classification, the product must be distilled in the U.S. After distillation, in order to become bourbon, the whiskey must be aged in charred oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years. Again, most distillers choose to age for at least 4 years, and it is not uncommon to see fine bourbons age for 40 years or more. The final product cannot be higher than 160 proof (80 percent) though.
Stop by any of our Wines and Spirits locations for a sample of these flavorful FEW spirits!