About FEW Barrel Gin
Founded as a dry community, Evanston, Illinois was the birthplace of the Women's Temperance Movement and home to Frances Elizabeth Willard, an influential protagonist in the story of Prohibition. As the Temperance Movement approached a boiling point, abstinence slowly began to creep across the country and Willard and her league of temperance supporters turned Evanston into a stronghold.
For over 100 years, Evanston remained a dry town. It wasn't until Paul Hletko, owner and master distiller at FEW Spirits, began lobbying the town that the antiquated laws were lifted. "I'm the vice president of the PTA at my kids' school and I coach their soccer and T-ball teams," Hletko says. "People around town know me and what I'm about, which is handy when you're looking to change 100 years of laws."
Today, hidden down a dark alley in a former chop shop, Hletko and his skilled team are producing another batch of FEW Spirits Barrel-Aged Gin. The gin is crafted from a mash of corn, wheat and unmalted barley, which is infused with a secret recipe of botanicals, each individually selected for the way it interacts with wood. As its name suggests, FEW Barrel-Aged Gin is laid to rest for four months in five-gallon, new American oak barrels which have been toasted with a #3 char. As a result, the gin has a soft amber color, and a nose filled with liquorice candy, citrus and clove. The palate is earthy and balanced, with flavors of fresh grain and sugar complemented by light, oaky undertones. The finish is soft and delicate, with notes of caramel and brown sugar.
Bottled at 93 proof, FEW Barrel-Aged Gin earned a Gold Medal from the Beverage Testing Institute, where it was the highest rated gin in the last five years.
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According to Winston Churchill, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the Empire," referring to the British officers using it to treat malaria in India.
Initially made for medicinal purposes, gin gets most of its flavor from the juniper berries added after the distillation process. It sure has come a long way from the Middle Ages, with the introduction of new botanicals, fruits, and spices, bringing it closer to people of all flavor varieties.
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