Whiskey Review: Few Spirits Rye Whiskey

Whiskey Review: Few Spirits Rye Whiskey

By Carin Moonin / September 14, 2015

Few Spirits Rye WhiskeyEditor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago, was a dry town from the mid-1800s until the 1970s. It’s still the headquarters of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), organized by women concerned about alcohol and the problems it could cause. And now, both ironically and respectfully, it is former president of the WCTU Frances E. Willard for whom Few Spirits is named.

Few was the first distiller of grain spirits in Evanston; all their American and barrel gin, along with their bourbon and rye whiskies, are made on-site. True to its name, Few keeps their offerings limited, focusing on high-flavor, small batch bottlings.

Few Spirits Rye Whiskey is made from a mash of 70% rye, 20% corn and 10% malted barley. Keeping Few’s Midwest character going, after distillation the rye and bourbon are aged less than four years in custom-made oak barrels from Minnesota. This whiskey has won numerous awards, including Craft Whisky of the Year from Whisky Advocate, and Gold Medals from the World Whiskey Awards, Beverage Tasting Institute, and International Whisky Competition. It’s 93 proof (46.5% ABV) and retails for about $55.

Their website calls Few Rye Whiskey the “renaissance of rye.” But does rye really need a renaissance? Call me skeptical—or at least rye-curious.

It has a mellow gold color. On the nose I picked up strong grassy smells, along with apple and honey. On first sip it began bit harsh, but it finishes like the nose smells, which was odd to me, though not unpleasant. I often find taste wildly differs from nose, so this was an unusually consistent experience. That said, it did “bite” my throat more than other ryes I’ve tried; it burned a bit going down, almost solvent-like (though I can’t say I’ve slammed a lot of solvents).

I found the Few Rye smooth and uncomplicated, though a bit one-dimensional, which is why I’d give it a 75 (You can buy a bottle of it here from a range of online retailers). I think it would be a better mixing rye than a sipper, and bet it would work well in a Manhattan (conveniently, Few has a recipe for one its website) where it could be tempered by quality vermouth and perhaps several extra shakes of bitters.

[graphiq id=”gcPUhXbejQx” title=”Few Spirits Rye Whiskey Overview ” width=”600″ height=”326″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/gcPUhXbejQx” link=”https://whiskey.underthelabel.com/l/1592/Few-Spirits-Rye-Whiskey” link_text=”Few Spirits Rye Whiskey Overview | UnderTheLabel”]