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FEW Spirits



Made in the town of Evanston, Illinois, an ironic name perhaps considering that this is also the same town that lays claim to being the birthplace to the Women’s Temperance Movement (an influential protagonist in the story of Prohibition). This is just one of the many things that will grab your attention. The gin is certainly different considering not only the liquid but also the distillery’s experiments and one-off bottlings too. It would be an understatement to say that this gin has our curiosity at fever pitch….

F.E.W American Gin -

Launched in August 2011, FEW American Gin is a worthy addition to the craft distilled gin category. As mentioned above, we tasted it with a lot of expectations and were relieved to find a balanced gin. We expected it to be well made – anyone who takes a grain-to-glass approach is always going to produce a well-rounded product – but on occasion some of these (by other craft distillers) have not been very “ginny”. FEW American Gin is definitely modern in its profile, but not so far that it is not recognizable as a gin. We enjoyed it, especially in a refreshing Summery G&T.

F.E.W Standard Issue Gin -

This Navy Strength puppy is interesting. To many, Navy Strength Gin is defined by Plymouth and that style has become the reference point. But this doesn’t have to be the case – just because the proof is higher – why does it have to be earthy tasting? F.E.W Standard Issue Gin (named as a nod to military and navy rationing and equipment) exemplifies other interpretations on the style of gin. It has a bright sweet and spicy taste with lemon bursting through on a creamy base. The finish is long and sweet, with liquorice prominent. The grain is also apparent through out – almost as if it were the signature style for all F.E.W gins.

F.E.W Barrel-Aged Gin

It’s no secret that, on occasion, we’ve been known to indulge in the dark side and enjoyed a malt or two. So it’s with incredible excitement that we tasted their barrel-aged gin, desperately hoping it would manage the best of both worlds. Batch one was released on the 29th February 2012 as a limited edition, given the relative uniqueness of the day as a leap year.

Aged for four months in small 5 gallon new American oak barrels with charring grade #3. They use a different recipe to their American Gin, with a more traditional heavy juniper and spice botanical mix, which Paul felt would be more suitable for effects of interacting with wood. The exact list is undisclosed but it includes a lot of citrus with bitter orange and lemon peel, as well as cassia and angelica.

Bottled at 46.5% ABV, the wood is evident from the amber, leathery colour. On the nose is sugary liquorice, while clove, candied citrus and base tones of grain come through on the palate. The relatively high ABV isn’t apparent other than as a way of carrying layered flavours and much like NY Distilling’s barrel aged offering, the balance between the clarity of the juniper, other botanicals and wood is well struck. Familiar gingerbread flavours come through too – perhaps a result of the grain, while the finish lingers nicely with soft caramelised sugary notes coating the palate. The amount of oak is noticeable throughout and really adds a new dimension to sipping gin, it’s not merely rested or lightly aged for a subtle effect. The ageing is a big part of the flavour ensemble, and to date, one of the best examples of barrel aged gins available in the world.

Read our full review here: FEW Spirits

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