Monday, January 29, 2018

Independent Bottlers Goes Americana - Part #3


That Boutique-y Whisky Co.

F.E.W. Spirits - 2yrs Bourbon - Batch 2

About F.E.W. Spirits

Paul Hletko, the founder and head distiller of F.E.W. Spirits knew right from the start that his product line would always remain small. When asked "How many kinds of spirits do you make?" he could honestly reply "We only make a few."

F.E.W. Spirits were founded in 2011, in Evanston, Illinois, who can claim the dubious title of being the birthplace of the American prohibition era, because it was here that Francis Elizabeth Willard (notice the initials) championed the temperance movement with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. F.E.W. Spirits became the first distillery in Illinois after prohibition.

F.E.W. Spirits are distilled and bottled entirely in-house, so they produce everything from grain to glass. F.E.W. Spirits are running two copper pot stills. One custom built German hybrid still, used to produce their whiskey, as well as to strip low wines for gin production. Their second still is also custom built, used entirely for gin production, to ensure that their whiskey and gin flavor doesn’t mix.

F.E.W. Spirits produce a single malt whisky, a bourbon and a rye whiskey, and three different styled gin’s, named American, Barrel and Breakfast Gin.

Click here to visit F.E.W.’s Website

Previously in this series I have described That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Click here to read the article

That Boutique-y Whisky Company.
F.E.W. Bourbon - Batch 2

Distillery: F.E.W. Spirits
Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Region: America
Age: 2 Years
Proof/ABV: 51,8%
Release: September 2016. Limited 275 bottles release.
Dk price: $79USD/495dkk

Points: 87,5/100

About the label art: Taken directly from That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s website:

Where better to get our feet wet with bottling American spirits than with one of America’s finest craft distilleries, FEW Spirits in Evanston, Illinois. Evanston is not only home to FEW, it’s also the home of Prohibition as it was here that Frances Elizabeth Willard championed the temperance movement. Hence why the label of our bottling of FEW bourbon features Maverick Drinks’ Michael Vachon heralding the repeal of Prohibition, and FEW founder Paul Hletko getting down to business in the background.

Deep layers of smoke upfront, followed by sweet caramel, black pepper, and buttery salty popcorn and cherry. Deep, dark and intense. I really enjoy it.   

Vanilla ice cream with toffee, honey, and the smoky note coming through once again.

Medium spicy oaky finish.

Overall impression:

That Boutique-y Whisky Company chose to bottle their selected F.E.W. barrel at a higher ABV that F.E.W.’s original bourbon offering. (F.E.W. bottles their bourbon at 46,5%) In my opinion, a very smart move, to keep those amazing dark and intense flavors in play instead of watering them down.     
I’m really impressed by how far Paul Hletko have reached with this two years old bourbon, and I can honestly say, that this bottling is far superior to much older bourbons, that I have had over the years. Sure, it isn’t as thick and oily as I would prefer it to be, but apart from that, it’s right on the money.      

Photo & Review By: Hasse Berg