FEW Barrel Gin - 70cl - 46.5% ABV
Made in the town of Evanston, Illinois, an ironic name perhaps considering that this is also the same town that lays claim to being the birthplace to the Women’s Temperance Movement (an influential protagonist in the story of Prohibition). This is just one of the many things that will grab your attention. The gin is certainly different considering not only the liquid but also the distillery’s experiments and one-off bottlings too. It would be an understatement to say that this gin has our curiosity at fever pitch….
F.E.W Barrel Gin
Aged for four months in small 5 gallon new American oak barrels with charring grade #3. They use a different recipe to their American Gin, with a more traditional heavy juniper and spice botanical mix, which Hlekto felt would be more suitable for the effects of interacting with wood. The exact list is undisclosed but it includes a lot of citrus with bitter orange and lemon peel, as well as cassia and angelica.
Bottled at 46.5% ABV, the wood is evident from the amber, leathery colour. On the nose is sugary liquorice, while clove, candied citrus and base tones of grain come through on the palate. The relatively high ABV isn’t apparent other than as a way of carrying layered flavours and much like NY Distilling’s barrel aged offering experiments, the balance between the clarity of the juniper, other botanicals and wood is well struck. Familiar gingerbread flavours come through too – perhaps a result of the grain, while the finish lingers nicely with soft caramelised sugary notes coating the palate. The amount of oak is noticeable throughout and really adds a new dimension to sipping gin, it’s not merely rested or lightly aged for a subtle effect. The ageing is a big part of the flavour ensemble and remains one of the best examples of barrel aged gins available in the world.