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Few American Gin (700ml)
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- ABV 40%
Paul Hletko, who launched 'Few Spirits' in 2011 is a man in pursuit of flavour. Hence, his new micro distillery is perhaps best defined by what it doesn't make - vodka.
"It's the opposite of what I want my spirits to be," says Hletko. "Few Spirits is about quality and flavor, and enjoying a drink. Taking the flavour out of the grain by distilling it into vodka is the opposite of what we want."
The Few distillery is located in Evanston, which was founded as a dry community. In fact it's been free of alcohol for more than one hundred years. Though the city did legalise drinking in the late 1990s, it took the perseverance Hletko to reverse the antiquated liquor laws.
The name F.E.W is a word play around the quantity the distillery started out making (a few bottles). It will probably remain that way for some time as Hletko maintains a grain-to-glass approach and doesn’t buy in neutral grain spirit.
Three different gins are now being made using a base of corn, wheat, and non-malted barley (the base spirit is actually his new make whiskey), while some of the 11 botanicals used include juniper, citrus (lemon and orange peel), Tahitian vanilla, cassia, grains-of-paradise and homegrown hops.
Wait a minute! Hops in the gin?
It turns out that Hletko’s been home brewing for 20 years and was inspired by New Holland’s 'Hopquila' (a sort of whiskey-tequila hybrid spirit with pronounced hops character).
Suffice to say, Few's gins will be polarising, and will probably find more appeal amongst those who enjoy old-school Genevers rather than fans of typical London Drys.
Tasting note: Flawless crystal clear appearance with a silvery blush. Like Few's 'Standard Issue', this is not an overtly 'gin-like' aroma, rather the base spirit makes a significant contribution. It offers up crusty sour dough notes while the juniper / citrus peel / potpourri combination has been integrated with a soft touch. A delicate entry moves on to a light to medium weight profile with subtle flavours of citrus peel, juniper, lavender and tingling spiciness. The aftertaste is clean, dry and floral / rose hip like. What some might categorise as a 'modern' gin, this has few associations with any London Dry style that we've encountered. Try it if you enjoy Genevers. 40% Alc./Vol.