We’ve talked about Few’s quite excellent Aged Gin on this blog before, so I’m not sure how many surprises I have in store for you in this review.
In my previous review I threw around the word “Genever” a little bit, referring to the fact that unlike most gins which use a neutral-character base akin to vodka (in many cases, actually vodka). Few uses a base closer to a “white dog,” or white whiskey. This means that although it can be considered “neutral” in some sense of the word, it carries with it a distinct warming, toasty, almost grain-like flavor to the cocktail.
We’ve commented on this a great deal in the past. Other gins, such as Ingenium Gin, St George’s Dry Rye Gin and Smooth Ambler’s Greenbrier Gin have come at gin from this similar angle. The Beverage testing institute has described gins like this as “Genever-like Gin” in their recent evaluations of gins similar to Few. I’m not sure if that is the right name for it, but I believe that it properly conveys what is going on here.
Few American Gin is not a Genever. But it is not a normal gin.
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I’ve been into this before, but I think it bears repeating: if a gin has a white whiskey as it base, and then that gin is aged, is the end product really a gin anymore?
Fortunately for us, Few Spirits has forced the issue for us and this question no longer dwells in the realm of the philosophical, the hypothetical or the theoretical. Its quire real: Few Barrel Aged Gin.
At First Taste you might mistake this barrel aged gin for a Genever, and although you’re technically incorrect, you wouldn’t be far off in perception. Okay, so Genever has a malt base, this gin doesn’t. But the flavor profile that is created is not far off. It has the rich lows of a good Genever. A rich woody character permeates the base. You can pick up the earthiness of the base here, but its in the way that the taste builds that Few Barrel Aged Gin really differentiates itself from Genever and even some other barrel aged gins.
There’s a certain spicy sweetness evident here, warm Christmas notes: Cloves, [a good gin-tasting friend of mine pointed out Gingerbread, and I think he may be right], and a faint note of burnt sugar.
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