It was only a matter of time before Illinois's FEW Spirits followed up their beloved Breakfast Gin with a whiskey counterpart. Once that decision was made, it couldn't have been too much effort or conversation to arrive at the method - a maple cask finish is just too hard to resist. Released two years ago now, it arrived alongside a handful of other maple-finished whiskey releases and yielded extremely tasty results. The practice has proven to be so wildly popular in fact, that most producers have been unable to keep up with demand. It would seem we all hold a special place in our heart for that sweet maple. As luck would have it, a handful of cases were set aside at a special place in the distillery a couple of years ago and recently rediscovered. The good folks at FEW sent them our way, and we're excited to share this deliciously indulgent spirit with you!
It begins with FEW's flagship bourbon, aged at least four years before being transferred to barrels which were previously used to hold maple syrup (Mount Mansfield Maple of Vermont - a producer who has landed on Oprah's "Favorite Things" list a few times now.) The time in this secondary barrel lends a kiss of maple to the bourbon's profile of cinnamon, clove, and herbal rye, without overwhelming or coming off as a "flavored" whiskey. Sips beautifully neat, but don't resist that urge to mix up a lush and autumnal Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or shaken up in a Maple Whiskey Sour.