Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by FEW Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Let’s review, class, what makes a Bottled-in-Bond designation an important one. We have said it before, and we’ll say it again for those in the back (or those eyeing the the top shelf). The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 was established to reduce the chance of whiskey buyers purchasing whiskey that was adulterated with fun additions like formaldehyde or iodine.
According to this law, any whiskey designated as Bottled-in-Bond must be:
- A product of one distillation season, from one distiller, at one distillery
- Bottled and stored in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for a minimum of four years
- Bottled at 100 proof
- Labeled with the distillery where the whiskey was distilled and bottled
- Produced in the USA
In November, Evanston, Illinois-based FEW Spirits announced the launch of its first Bottled-in-Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The new brand commemorates both FEW’s 10-year anniversary as well as the 125th anniversary of the Bottled-in-Bond Act itself. FEW makes a number of varieties of whiskies as well as gin, all with a nod to pre-prohibition product in their bottles’ look and feel. I’ve only ever tried their rye, but I’ve enjoyed it very much and thus I was excited to try their take on Bottled-in-Bond.
Tasting Notes: FEW Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled in Bond
Vital stats: About $50; 100 proof; mash bill of 70 percent corn, 20 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley; aged in Minnesota oak barrels a minimum of four years.
Appearance: First off, I will disclose that the bottle (at least the one I got) is capped really tightly. I might have small and limited hand strength (if that’s a thing) but wriggling the stopper out of this was a workout. Be forewarned, slight folks! I suppose it’s better than wobbly and getting whiskey everywhere? Anyway, how this whiskey looks in the bottle: cinnamon meets crimson. In the glass: sightly browner but still very reddish, like a well-polished cherrywood dresser.
Nose: This has a happily textbook nose for a bourbon, and I ain’t mad about it: vanilla, cherry, butterscotch. Also, notes of rooibos tea and Oreo cookies. The real Oreos, none of this Hydrox shizz or wacky Oreo flavors.
Palate: What stands out to me the most is that this whiskey is extremely well-balanced. It begins sweet but finishes crisp as a perfectly cold apple. At 100 proof, it’s not alcohol-forward in the least. It’s more savory. A lot of whiskies can be pre- or post-meal, but I would gladly drink this with food. It’s warm but won’t get in your way if you pair it with other strong flavors. Like, if could have it with like a cheese plate or ploughman’s lunch or something like that? It would be a fine repast, my friends.
I like this. I like it a lot. It’s not overly complex or weird or funky or try-hard, and it needn’t be. It’s a solid, well-made whiskey and I am happy to have it on the roster. Thanks, FEW!
User Review3.67 (3 votes)
A decade ago, I traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Portland’s a great whiskey town: It fits the weather and my general mood (even improves it sometimes). I enjoy exploring the many shades of brown liquor...