From the bartender’s corner – Gin #9: FEW
FEW is an American Style Gin. If you have followed all my Gin research by now, you probably realize that Genever was the original drink from the Belgium/Netherlands area. Then came Tom Gin and finally London Dry style (which is not aged in a barrel at all). American style Gin is a very recent phenomenon and they tend to be (not always) less junipery and a little more citrus forward.
That said, this Gin is very different. To begin with, there is a distinct wood-y nose. Which is surprising for a gin not aged in a barrel till you realize that the base of this gin is not the traditional neutral grain but more akin to white whiskey. The warm toasty malty nose comes from the base of barley, corn and whiskey used.
In terms of the botanicals, other than the standard juniper, citrus, orange peels, lemon and cassia, you have the interesting twists of vanilla (Tahitian vanilla), grains of paradise and home grown hops.
If you are into brown alcohols and want to try gins, you will like this. If you are not too much into barrel aged alcohols, do not take this straight up or with tonic water. Your best way to try this might be with something that compensates for the woody-ness — perhaps a cocktail like Negroni or a Martini.
FEW is made in an interesting place – Evanston – about 30 miles north of Chicago and very close to the Northwestern University. The real interesting part of this area is that this was one of the areas that inspired the Prohibition area!! The distillery is rather new – only about 6 years in existence.
I would also put this gin on the higher end of price – although nothing like Monkey 47.