Paul Hletko’s grandfather lost his Czechoslovak brewery to the Nazi’s in World War II and never got it back. Paul was doing home brewing and wanted to go into business for himself and took his family history and experience to heart, founding FEW Spirits in 2011. Ever the rebel, he opened his "grain to glass" craft business in Evanston, Illinois — the birthplace of the temperance movement — from a small building whose only entryway is through a back alley. And we are all glad he did. Over the last five years he has grown to three Whiskies, three Gins, and seven employees whose motto is "By the Few, for the Few."
FEW Single Malt is only offered a few times per year. So it’s technically their "fourth" Whisky product… a stepsister to their White, Rye, and Bourbon Whiskeys. And as if producing a Single Malt in the good ‘ol United States of America isn’t special enough, Paul and the team took it one step further. Instead of using peat smoke like some distilleries in Scotland, they air dry most of the malt naturally and smoke the rest over cherry wood. Paul says that’s where the "earthy" notes come from. One thing is certain, at a proper 46.5% ABV this easy-drinking dram will deliver the flavor.
Smartass Corner: FEW Spirits has a nice ring to it, but it is also a poke in the eye to governmental kill-joys. You see, F. E. W. are the initials of Francis Elizabeth Willard who was a leader of the Prohibition movement in Evanston back in the day.
This was the best one on my samples. I shared it with friends and they all agreed.
Umm, that’s a hard “no thank you” from me.
It’s okay, a bit of a lingering chocolate/cherry flavor. Not bad, but not my flavor. Came in sample set.
Don't know what it is but they seem to have missed the boat on most their lines!!
A little smoky, more spicy. I get the bread/cereal flavor they are talking about. Overall solid but only want it if in a Rye type mood.
Ok daily pour
There is a nice smoke and chocolate on the nose, but with a bit of a medicine note also. Lots of cherry smoke on the tounge and some spice too. There's a complex malt flavor that is interesting, but not great. The finish is sharp and lingering, with more malt.
Creamy, lots of flavor.... I liked it a ton!
Had a very creamy taste. Very smooth.
Not my style
Very smokey hides the other flavors.
Very good nose and taste. Good earthy, grassy tones.
Too many raw flavors. I feel like it might work if it was aged for about 10 more years.
Interesting finish. I like it but don’t love it
Derek hit it on the head with a nose of undercooked bread. Yeasty. I also would have sworn the smokey flavor was from peat, but now read it's cherry wood. Put together it didn't work for me, but I don't like lowland single malts.
Unique smokey flavor, tasted very young
Mealy smell and taste. Seems like it needs 7 more years in the barrel.
I wish it was a little smokier but good none the less
Zero. Not good.
Not my favorite. Quite bitter, like pure cacao plus unseasoned cereal. Very smooth though: well made, just perhaps not my favorite flavor
I think FEW accomplished what they set out to do: make something distinctly different while still calling it Bourbon. It just didn't work out for me, there was an off-putting, sort of alien flavor profile that I just couldn't wrap my head around and come to terms with. There maybe some folks out will enjoy this, I just wasn't one of them.
Starts with a very strong nose and taste of undercooked/doughy bread. Not the most pleasant initially, but the finish lingers and becomes more palatable once other notes begin to come through. Received sample in tasting box but would pass on a bottle.
Odd. Tastes like stale corn flakes.
Yes! Nailed it!
Very smokey and finish of cherry and smoke. Some sort of off flavor with finish. I do not like this one
Hard pass. Definite fish smell and taste
First one I tried. I liked it
Smokey with notes of grain. Pleasant in small doses.
Surprisingly good. A light smoke taste, close to a Islay Scotch.
Too smoky! Never buy.
UGH. My wife and I are not fans.
Both my son-in-law and I tried this. Took a sip and dumped the remainder. Not much nose and not to my liking. To each their own. This one is not for me.
Something to drink in a gold mining town in the California foothills. Strong and unusual taste. Dried grass notes. Backwoods.
The aroma was grassy/hay - maybe rye. We would not say chocolate was present per the tasting spiral. Taste was a young whiskey
Caramel, banana. Not my favorite
Maybe I’m broken, I was unable to taste the dark chocolate. I a perfect amount of smoke and spice/rye. Following was a slight cherry flavor with a powerful dough/bread hit that lasted
Oaky, dry, tannic; seems best with a little *cold* water. Long phenol finish, with hints of citrus.
I got this in the American single malt tasting pack. The flavor is definitely unique. Surprisingly bitter with hints of dark chocolate, similar to a stout beer. I probably wouldn't drink very much of this at a time because that bitterness does linger. That said, I really enjoyed it. I'll probably buy a full bottle of this at some point.
Not a fan. Has a unique smell that I don’t care for - maybe some funky bread or wet saw dust? I can taste some chocolate and spicy notes, but it’s got a finish taste that I don’t quite enjoy.
Back end is a little odd.
I’ve had this before and recall it being much more palatable
The rye is very prominent in this one. It was not my favorite as a result as I didn't get much pear or citrus.
Wet bread / Doughy... not at all pleasant
Grassy. No. Smells like a weed trimmer head after an hour of cutting a few hundred foot fence that has just been painted with cheap latex paint. Taste? Weird.
Advent #13. Interesting flavors. Tasted ok but isn’t really my style.
Has a cereal-ey kinda flavor. Not bad, well made whiskey, but not quite my style
Ok. Get the dark chocolate and malt.
limited spice very smooth
Not great, not terrible. I’m not a huge fan of single malt whisky’s, but even so this kind of rates in the middle of what I would drink. Definite notes of chocolate, although not sweet, which is interesting.
I never leave reviews. I can’t taste many of the complex flavors that people detect in whiskies. I just know what I like and what I don’t but this one was so bad I had to express my dislike. Not
sure what’s going on here. Tasted stale before I dumped it down the drain.
An unholy mix of cereal with a cigar put out in it.
Pretty interesting taste, liked it overall. Probably one of the more chocolately tastes I've had. I've been wanting to try more drams that don't lean on the usual fruits and vanilla, so chocolate, bread, and cherry is nice. Biggest complaint would be, especially toward the end of the taste, is that it turns into a bit of a 'generic Speyside' flavor
Bad, just bad. I couldn’t finish the sample
Wow. I really liked this one. Kind of surprised by others ratings. Chocolate and cherry really came Thur with the addition of a little water
Bread, rye. Not bad but not a favorite.
Almost stale tasting
I mostly got cherry and chocolate notes, with some rye as well. I really liked this one!
(Advent 2020, #13) In the nose there's maybe some caramel, chocolate, and something else maybe a breast/toasty hint. This was interesting there was a little spicy and smoky flavors along with some grains. There's a nice finish with a little spiciness and something else in the finish. This is different and I kinda like it!
Not bad but seems like it has an identity problem. Tough to tell whether this wants to be a scotch, rye, or bourbon
I haven't seen this many reviews on opposite spectrums! I really enjoyed this, from the chocolate nose to the smoked marshmallow flavor. Reminds me of a campfire with cherry wood logs. A hit of brine/salt would have rounded this out even better, like s'mores on the beach. Overall, good, but very sweet and smoky.
Probably the worst sample I’ve had. Makes me hesitant on trying any other FEW bottles. Smelled like a musty banana and the taste wasn’t much better.
Like the bread and the rye but not sure about the cherry coming through.
Yes, there’s chocolate and bready notes, with some spice, but it doesn’t come together in an appealing way. I wanted to like this one, but cannot recommend.
Nice smooth Bourbon that has its flavors meld really well and not letting one stand out. low alcohol bit complements the taste.
Heavy malt/cereal on the nose with the slightest hint of chocolate. Similar profile on the palate (almost reminiscent of some types of beer) with the addition of a rye spiciness.
Definitely different for a whiskey flavor. Probably not my sort of taste in the long run but pleasant enough that I’m glad to have tried it.
Advent Day 13 - smells like a barn and tastes like one might taste like and not in a good way. Had to pour it out. Did not taste any of the notes listed. Have had other Few products that were much better. Worst dram so far in the advent calendar.
This one goes down warm. Interesting flavor progression, and I like the hint of smokiness up front.
Lots of dark chocolate and cherry on the finish. A bit of nuttiness in the form of cereal/baked goods.
I like this for its unique flavor. I couldn't quite place what was so different about it until I read it was smoked over cherry wood. Now I want to have some next time I'm BBQing.
Three is being very generous.Sample from the advent calendar. Would never buy it.
Like it, don’t love it. Definitely get some smoke on the nose. Interesting flavors - a little toasted, a little sweet, a little spicy. But too much burn to be too enjoyable.
Lots of chocolate, dark cherry, bread and rye flavors. I very different whiskey that I found quite enjoyable.
Chocolate and sometimes peanut butter flavors - I liked it
Advent Day 13 - Lots of chocolate on the nose, spices and toasted bread on the palate with hints of fruit. Good dram until the long lingering cigarette tasting finish.
Flaviar Advent sampler day 13. The flavor profile of this whisky was very promising but the actual flavor was quite disappointing. Too much rye taste, way too much burn. Probably the worst of the Advent samples. Would not purchase a bottle of this.
Nothing but cereal, rye, and barley. It's altogether unpleasant and gross.
Yeasty taste, musky flavor. Sooty not my favorite
I,m getting the bread notes on the nose, some cigar tobacco and rye, spice on the palate, no chocolate but something funky in the back of the palate...not sure what it is?. From the advent calendar 13. Only tried half, will circle back and try it again sometime to see if anything changes.
Nose reminds me of being on the farm. Fresh cut hay, grass, and well worn leather. Good hit of malt and cereal, followed by a subtle smokiness and a hint of cherry. Had a bit of spiciness throughout that is not quite redolent of a rye, and a sweet lingering maltiness.
Outright unpleasant. Cereal on the nose. I don’t get any smoke at all. Spicy with a horrendous musty finish. Very off putting.
Nose is dank earth and old leather. I initially pegged it as heavy rye, but not in an awesome way..
Taste is similar. Grass, hay, mild spice with a faint hint of chocolate and salt on the short finish
Very good. The nose is kind of like musty leather, almost off-putting but not quite, and a hint of stone fruit. Smooth start, but then pretty aggressively spicy. Once that tones down, there's some really rich cherry and yeasty tones on the end. Overall, really rich.
I really like the sweetness. This has a very complex taste
I found it more earthy than smoky. The chocolate notes are nice
Advent 2020 #13 - all we taste is leather, old leather. Barely drinkable.
Only whisky I’ve ever poured out instead of finishing. <shrug>
Not a fan. Smooth finish, but did not like the taste. Only finished because it was alcohol and I paid for it, but almost undrinkable which is sad because I love their rye.
Smooth with lots of interesting notes. Spicy cereal are the best two words I can use to describe it.
Not my cup of whiskey.....
Light and smooth flavor.
Light smoke, sweet, and spicy. Finishes with a nice cherry that lingers for awhile.
Reminds me of what a feed store would taste like
Smooth with that wonderful dark chocolate aroma and I feel a nice warm balance of spice and toasty fruity bready goodness
Unlike any single malt I have ever had.
Malted barley and oats with heavy, almost bailed hay on the nose. Like a feed store. This continues on the palette but gives way quickly to lite chocolate, some spice and super grassy-earthy taste. Such a delight to escape from the standard single malts and dig into this one. Your friends wont know what hit them.
Amazing chocolate notes.
Loved the spice and although I had it neat I think it would hold up well on the rocks.
This is great! This is the first whiskey I've had where I really understand the "cereal" smell and that stood out to me the most. On the palate the bread and malted barely really stand out. There is a smokiness to it, but it's not smoke like a prayer scotch, much more smooth and less powerful, almost reminds me of smoked meat instead of a fire itself. Just a slight sweetness in there as well.
Absolutely love the combination of dark chocolate, cereal, and cherry. Really nice balance. The only detractor, IMO, is the smoky notes (but if you like the smoke,it’s all good).
Very unique taste. If you’re having trouble getting into this whiskey, try pairing it with some dark (75%+) chocolate. Really made it come to life...
Very pungent smell, like something fermenting. Tastes like toast. If you're into these flavours, you'll probably love it.
Nope! Not for me! I can't even identify a flavour; it just tastes...moldy. Gross.
Nope! Not for me! I can't even identify a flavour; it just tastes...moldy. Gross.
It was Ok... Really good at first, but then not so good, then after taste was ok again...
It tastes what I imagine being a badass movie cowboy feels like
Musty, moldy bread smell, toast, tastes better than it smells.
As a beginner, not a bad one to test myself with. Lots of good smells to the nose. First impression of taste was wild. Lots of different flavors. Couldn’t decide what I was tasting. Chocolate, spice and a whole bunch more. Then a swallowed it. Burn baby burn and not in a good way. Don’t think I would drink it again, but definitely interesting.
I had a hard time finding anything to like about it. I even tried it on two separate occasions thinking that my first poor impression of it was a possible mistake. Well on my second encounter I felt the same: horrid and undrinkable. My advice, pass it by.
Really smooth and complex. The nose is an appealing mixture of chocolate and cherry, and each sip gets a bit spicier on top on the initial smoky notes.
When cereal met Play Dough met a punch in the face.
Definitely earthy, but I don’t mind it. I consider it a unique flavor. I definitely smell grass and sea salt. The taste is strongly of maltiness.
Pretty harsh but smells great. I wanted to love it...
This is unlike anything else I have ever tried. It does not compare to any brand or region on the globe. The smell is awful and makes me pull away immediately. Tasting notes? Hot garbage. The only alcohol I've ever poured down the drain, I sencerely hope it reaches a waste processing plant before the poor fish that will have to taste it
Nose was nice and intriguing - very earthy. Flavor is complex and interesting for sure, but it did not make for a pleasant drink for either MATT or I
Horrible! Drinking it with a full glass of ice didn't even help. It was like drinking liquid hay.
It is an intense, '“grain to glass” Single Malt Whiskey that has an aromatic birth; while a bold & spicy life leads to a long & toasty death with notes of malted barley, cherry & mop bucket water.
Very strong nose of hay, cow, dirt, and general farmland. Palette improved slightly with toasted popcorn and earthy flavors but finish was reminiscent of dishwater.
Practically undrinkable. The aftertaste is almost fishy.
I felt like the nose and the taste had a hint of grain alcohol to them. Not bad, but not great either.
Not for me
Zippy, toasted, I don't get the cherry notes that others mention, but sweet grains
Tastes strongly of chocolate and smoke. Not my favorite but not bad.
Color: Honey, Amber
Nose: Cherry pastry
Taste: cherry, spice, angel food cake
This is great! A tad hot but such a nice flavor.
A very confusing combination of spices, apple, and chocolate to start isn't that bad... Then smoked bitterness at the finish that really ruins the sip. Not for me.
Smells sweaty. Tastes like dark chocolate and smoke. If you like funky this might be for you but isn’t for me.
Never had a whisky/scotch that I had to pour out until now. Something about the flavor profile was as if it was poured down a dirty sink and bottled. I had to cleanse my pallet with a heavy peat scotch, that’s saying something.
I've never seen a review this accurate
Pleasantly surprised for this American single malt. Loved the flavor and it was nice and smooth. Whatcha doing? Buy again.
Smell immediately made me think ripe banana bread. Then came some spice. The taste was sweet with some dark chocolate notes.
One of the worst I've tasted. Peaty and gross.
Not Peaty. Just Gross.
1* is accurate
Definite taste the dark chocolate
Hated it! Fun idea, and complex, but flavor and nose are just bad. Honestly most of what I got was sweat, not the taste I was looking for
Very Smooth with no rye taste. On the rocks is a 6
I don't get a lot of the flavor spiral listed above. I get sour herbs. the sweetness shines through briefly followed another brief hit of malt and spice. tasted this a few times, can't bring myself to like it.
I agree this has a confusing taste. I found the aroma seriously cringe worthy. Initial taste was good with hints of honey, but the finish was definitely bitter. Not for me.
Caramel, rye, malt. Nice full flavor. Solid glass of whiskey.
Sweet corn and rye on the nose, with a touch of smoke. Spicy cherry and smoke on the palate. A few drops of water and the nose mellows, getting a touch nutty. The palate is still drenched in spice. Three more drops and the nose is buttered popcorn. The whole thing at this point is cornbread and chili. Nice!
Confusing taste. Ends up bitter rather than Smokey. I’d pass on a second taste.
A wonderful spice and heat to this one
Sorry. But this is not good at all.
It was smooth, and I'm giving it ten stars cause I'm sure it's a great single malt. Just wasn't what I expected when I selected the Rye Whiskey, should've read up more. Tasted more like a scotch to me...not my favorite.
I’m sure it is really good for a rye...my partner thought it was very nice. For me, all I go hit with was the pepper. I found it overwhelming and leaving me having trouble noticing the other flavors.
Now, normally I am not a whiskey/bourbon/ scotch drinker, however this particular dram grabbed my taste buds and seduced them! A chocolate smokey kick in the masticator with a sweet spicy aftertaste had me begging for more. If you are not a fan of this type of spirit I reccomend giving Few a try. I've been completely won over and enthralled by this delicious amber liquid.
Not my cup of tea
Wonderful neat in a slight chilled glass
Strong notes of caramel and honey on the nose. Exceptionally smooth finish, although short legs. Deep, rich color mimics a bourbon - but definitely retains the rye character.
This has a nice aroma and color. I liked the spicey taste with a touch of sweetness. A nice drink.
Rich flavor. The bite is a pinch on the heavy. All in all decent drink.
Too much of a spicy finish.
was a little harsher than I expected, However was a decent single malt.
"Please Mister, Don't kill Petey." From the Little Rascals
(Best advice you will ever get when it comes to Single Malt Scotch.)
Not a big fan.
Awesome. Love it
I didn't like this one at all. It is not the quality I am used to.
Great flavor, not overpowering
Nice new to the game could be a player in a few years