F.E.W. Rye Whiskey – Review


Along with most whiskey drinkers I have an adverse reaction to anyone who is offended by the fact that I like to drink. Now, I must say, I don’t like to drink just to drink. Those days were short-lived. As an old-soul type of guy I like drinking in my recliner with a good book/movie, my cat, Ziggy, on my lap, and the fireplace crackling. I sip slow, savor the flavors, and enjoy the evening or afternoon or whatever time of day it might be (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere as they say). But, still it rubs me the wrong way when someone is taken-a-back by my love for a good Scotch or hearty bourbon. I don’t care if they drink or not. I’m fine with people not drinking. My parents don’t drink because of the circles they run in. I have friends who don’t drink because they have either struggled with alcoholism or know someone who has suffered from it. I’m good with their decisions. In fact, I applaud them. But, that shouldn’t (and wont) stop me from enjoying a few fingers of a spicy rye.

There once was a giant movement of people like this who felt it was okay to tell other people they shouldn’t drink. It started in the 19th Century and was called the Temperance Movement. At the forefront of the march towards the abolition of alcohol was the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. While they fought for a lot of things they considered ‘biblical’ the push for illegality of all spirits was top on their list. The head of the snake was none other than homely (if you think that’s harsh click the link) and brash, Frances Willard. She rose quickly to power becoming the president of the WCTU in just 5 years of service to the cause. She was so passionate about the goal she formed her own organization, World’s Women Christian Temperance Union, in 1883. It must be mentioned, Willard did fight for some noble causes (she also focused on prison reform and woman’s suffrage during her 19 year presidency), the push for and eventual passage of the 18th Amendment just wasn’t one of them. As we know, Prohibition was a great failure (Thank God!) and the streets once again run amber with the sweet fragrance of spirits aged in oak.

In honor of Willard and her eventual failure, a distillery out of Evanston, Illinois has adopted her name. This distillery is F.E.W. (Willard’s Initials) Spirits. From Bourbon to Rye to Gin, the people at F.E.W. are cranking out some tasty spirits. It’s all their own juice to boot! Today, we are going to take a deeper look at F.E.W. Rye Whiskey. Let’s jump in already!


Distiller: F.E.W. Spirits

Owner: F.E.W. Spirits

Age: NAS (Rumored Around 3 Years Old)

ABV: 46.5%

Mash Bill: 70/20/10 (Rye/Corn/Barley)

Price: $60


Rich amber with orange and caramel hues. Promising.


Right away I’m greeted with a note of pleasant, grassy, rye grain. This is followed quickly by hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Sitting underneath it all there is a really nice brown sugar sweetness. The high corn content is surely responsible for these sweater characteristics.


The taste follows the nose. Soft rye spice is paired with chewy caramels and vanilla extract. Then there is honey-drizzled apples rolled in cinnamon. The texture is smooth and velvety and rolled around nicely on my tongue.


Long. Rye Spice. Pepper. Spice-infused cream drizzled over ripe apples. Slowly fades away.


In my honest opinion, the value on this is pretty good when you compare it to other craft whiskeys. Is it great? No. The bottom-line for pricing on craft whiskeys is usually around $50. With this one clocking in just $10 more and having a developed and matured profile I consider this a buy all day.


I really like this whiskey. It is probably my favorite craft whiskey. It’s mature for its age and it’s priced well. It has a balanced and creamy palate. I don’t have any real knocks on this one except I’d love to have it at cask strength (if I can ever find one). Cheers!


92/100 (An Excellent Tipple)



3 thoughts on “F.E.W. Rye Whiskey – Review

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