I’ve touched on my interest in brewery tours, but you see I really just enjoy going to places where alcohol is made. Breweries, distilleries, wineries…I love them all. What can I say? I am an equal opportunity imbiber.
The Evanston, IL based distillery is located in a rather nondescript warehouse tucked behind a large office building. Once inside, the interior is also rather nondescript with a makeshift wall separating the tasting room from the actual distillery. A few posters of their labels artwork adorn the walls, and a small island in the center provides a…shall we call it cozy?…spot to taste their spirits.
The tour itself was pretty short as the facilities are small. They have two stills (one of which was distilling Bourbon while we were there), a tiny bottling line, and a ton of barrels shoved in every nook and cranny they could find.
We did get to peer into the mash ton, and taste some Bourbon directly from the still which was something I have never had the chance to do on any previous distillery tours. We also learned that the name Few Spirits was created as an acronym for Frances Elizabeth Willard, also known as a leader in the Temperance Movement, also known as the Evangelist for prohibition. I think that’s pretty funny.
For the tasting portion of the tour (clearly I allowed myself to cheat a bit from my elimination diet) we tasted five out of their six products: a White Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, American Gin, Standard Gin and a Barrel Aged Gin. We did not try their Bourbon, which as a gal from the land of Bourbon I was fine with that. I found their White Whiskey and Rye to be a bit sharp, it’s lacking the roundness of flavor and smooth finish that I prefer. I did particularly enjoy their American Gin, it had a hint of the juniper flavor with a nice balance of citrus and spice…and I have never been a big Gin drinker. Our favorite however was their Barrel Aged Gin, which was something neither of us had ever seen (or for that matter tasted) before. It’s their current limited release, so it’s not part of their regular portfolio, but we were lucky to snag a bottle off the shelf. It’s a deep amber color and has the flavor profile of a peaty scotch, while still having a soft floral bouquet and smooth finish. We had not intended to purchase anything, yet one sip and we turned to each other, eyes wide, and just knew what the other was thinking “we need that!”
Several other tour goers seemed to share our sentiment, and there only appeared to be one bottle behind the register. I shimmied over and planted myself firmly in the front of the line, as not to be outdone by any other small batch spirit lovers.
We carried it home, chests swelling with pride over our newest acquisition. It now joins the seven other Gins we have in our home bar. We have a problem.
Total cost for tour tickets: $20
Total cost for a bottle of Limited Release, Handcrafted, Barrel Aged Gin: $53.28
The best laid plans…