We start this glorious December Of Bourbon with a dram from FEW Spirits.
Evanston, Illinois seems an unlikely place to find a distillery considering that it was a ‘dry community’ as recently as 1972. In these enlightened days there isn’t a US State that doesn’t have at least one distillery, however.
FEW Bourbon is one of two whiskies that FEW make (the other being a Rye), and is a fine looking, copper coloured 46.5% ABV dram.
The nose is intriguing; cinder toffee blends nicely with pear drops and there’s something else I can’t quite put my finger on – my brain is telling me it’s something from my school days.
Watered, the sweeter notes are lost and it becomes fruitier with real pears. That background oddness is still there, and it’s the smell of a library full of plastic-wrapped, unopened but ageing school books.
In the mouth there’s an initial sweet burst, coupled with a clean but significant alcohol bite. Toffee follows on from that, and lingers on the tongue long after you swallow. There’s a slightly harsh bitterness lurking underneath, but it fades quickly.
Water tames the alcohol punch, and allows the pear to come through. There’s a nice warming spice in the background, and the harshness is largely gone. The toffee finish holds up nicely though.
This is a pretty tasty start to Advent, and deserving of 3 stars.
Many thanks to Master of Malt for providing their excellent Bourbon Advent Calendar this year.