Over the weekend I finally got around to properly sitting down for some samples from the FEW bottle-share. I did try some over the last couple of weeks but between all holidays and stuff I got sent for reviewing (like the Hven samples and Whiskybrother’s awesome Glenlivet) I decided to postpone the FEW things I had lying around.
When pouring the samples my heart skipped a beat when I poured the White Dog. Not necessarily because I love white whiskey or whatever folks call it. Mostly because I spilled a couple of drops and the entire living room started smelling like a dunnage warehouse. A true holiday memory if there ever was one!
The White Dog in this case is of their Bourbon mash, but even the corn in there didn’t detract from the warehouses I’ve sniffed in Scotland. The guys in Evanston decided to bottle some of their whiskey before aging and supposedly it works very well in cocktails.
EDIT: Paul Hletko, the master distiller, got in touch to correct me on the above. It’s not the mash of their bourbon but rather ‘a bourbon’. Their regularly bottled bourbon contains 20% rye, and this one contains 20% wheat. The rest is the same (10% two row barley and 70% corn). Also, the yeast and distilling regimes are different. So, another reason to try this as it’s really a different spirit than their bourbon!
I’m not very good at making those, however, so I’ve not done that (yet) since I generally have all ingredients but one, and I’m not going to buy a 30 quid bottle of booze to try a cocktail that I might not like.
The nose is big and rich right away. It’s very very sweet and slightly earthy. Sugar and corn syrup with some spices. Very rye like with rye bread. Behind it all is some glue and acetone.
The palate is gentle (it’s not at still strength) but still rather spicy. Dry, sweet, bready with lots of crust and rye. Some peppery heat too.
The finish has that glue scent again, but the rye and corn flavors. It’s sweet, spicy with some acetone and paint. Some chemicals.
Funny. The mash has no rye in it, I just found out after typing this. It’s probably the dryness from the wheat that I mistake for spiciness. It does explain why I couldn’t find any more specifics. And I still think it tastes like rye bread.
I have to admit, I’m not overly used to drinking white dog, new spirit or whatever you want to call it. In this case I found some chemicals scents and flavors but keep in mind that those are not necessarily negative scents and flavors.
In this case, I kind of like the combination of the gentle sweetness, the sharper spices and the bite of the acetone behind it. It’s not tamed by oak mellowing. It’s quite in your face for a 40% drink and I like it. Maybe not enough to work through an entire bottle, but I’ll enjoy my sizable sample for sure!
Also, for an American craft spirit, bought in Europe, the price of £ 37.95 is quite acceptable! I was surprised by that!
FEW White Dog, 40%, £ 37.95 at Master of Malt
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