Late last year I set the first steps in doing a FEW Spirits bottle-share. I got interested in the distillery after reading a lot of positive reviews of their spirits. I wanted to know for myself since most of those reviews were from people working at shops that sold FEW’s Bourbon and Rye whiskeys.
When I started doing my own investigation I quickly got to the conclusion that FEW is not about making inferior products and then marketing them with whatever. Their booze is top notch in most of the cases and the worst case for FEW is that it’s still pretty okay.
Fairly quickly I knew that their Single Malt, White Dog and gins were interesting but were not going to convince me to spend loads of money on them. Keep in mind that this is from a European perspective, where American craft booze is ridiculously expensive in most situations.
However, I also got to taste their bourbons and rye whiskey. I already knew I liked what they were doing Bourbon-wise, with the Master of Malt Single Cask from 2013. This time I tried the regular 46.5% one and a cask strength version specially selected and bottled for the United Kingdom.
Of course, since I don’t want to barrage my liver with way too much booze to handle sort-of safely, and to do some proper tasting and not over indulged ramblings, I spread out tasting the samples over a couple of days. Weeks even.
This afternoon with my brother in law (MS), we sat down to do a comparison of the two bourbons and the rye whiskey. Just to see which was best.
It turned out that on the nose, the cask strength bourbon was richest, and most mature. However, the palate was very comparable with the 46.5% version. Then the rye came around and we found that very good, but the focus on the spices of the rye grains took away some of the power and (good) youthfulness that the bourbon showed nicely. It was, maybe, a bit more run of the mill instead of the truly outstanding (in both definitions of the word) bourbon.
Keeping in mind that the bourbon at cask strength is about 50% more expensive here than the regular strength one, we decided that the regular bourbon was the best of the run. That takes top honors from me from the bottle-share’s line-up.
I have to admit that we didn’t think to include the Boutique-y Whisky Company‘s bottling of wheated bourbon. But, when we’re trying to state the best one to buy that’s a good thing since it’s sold out. Not too surprising with the distillery’s popularity and the limit to 67 bottles in total.
So, in short: Get FEW’s bourbon. It’s great stuff. I love it. Shame it’s gone now.
Now this is out of the way I can start doing the Mezcal reviews.