FEW Rye Whiskey Review


FEW Rye Whiskey

I can’t say I always agree with Whisky Advocate, the World Whisky Awards or the Beverage Tasting Institute, but FEW Rye being an amazing whiskey is something I agree with them on 1,000%. I had this rye for the first time a few months ago at the Sassafras Saloon here in Los Angeles and I instantly fell in love. If this stuff wasn’t so hard to Few Rye bottle shotfind I would have bought a bottle the very next day, but luckily for my bank account all the bottle shops around me were out (see the aforementioned awards for the reason).

If you look back at the review I did of the FEW Bourbon you’ll notice that to make their rye FEW just traded the positions of the rye and the corn in their bourbon mashbill. Some might call that lazy, but I call it tasty and in a field littered with rye whiskey clocking in at the barely legal 51% rye it’s creates a distinctive flavor that sets them apart in a quickly crowding field.

FEW Rye Whiskey Review

ABV: 46.5%
Age: 3 years
Price: $65
Distiller: FEW Spirits
Mashbill: 70% rye, 20% corn & 10% malted barley

Caramel with an orange tint

A soft but dominant rye leads a complex procession of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and wood. It feels like with each successive sniff the aroma makes subtle shifts with scents coming and going. Some I can’t quite put my finger on, but others like butterscotch, pepper, citrus zest, raw grains and roasted chestnuts come and go with ease. A very enticing nose.

Starts off with a buttery rye, raw grains, cinnamon, light orchard fruit and some honey. A touch of citrus perks things up with a bit of wood and some baking spices. Just like the nose there are flavors that come and go and move about making this whiskey feel alive. It’s a complex arrangement of flavors that never stops moving.

Perfectly balanced with a rich full body and a sublimely velvety texture. They aren’t kidding when they call it “luxuriant”.

Long and slow it starts out with rye spice and moves on through notes of raw grains, under ripe orchard fruit, baking spices, wood and banana cream pudding.

I really… really… REALLY like this rye. If it weren’t $65 a bottle I’d make it my go-to rye instead of my I’m-feeling-like-a-really-good-rye rye (once I can find a bottle again locally that is) though with the way it tastes I’d say the price is completely justified. In my opinion it really is among the best ryes out there and if you get the chance to try it don’t pass it up.

SCORE: 93/100


*This sample was kindly given to me by the good folks at FEW for the purposes of this review.

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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Filed Under: Rye

13 Responses to FEW Rye Whiskey Review

    • Yeah I’m in there about once a month and that’s the last place I’ve seen one. Also saw a bottle of Parker’s Heritage Promise of Hope and Glenfarclas Cask Strength around that time. All 3 I wish I had picked up, but alas…

  1. Josh – I see you give high marks to both this rye by FEW and the Rendezvous Rye by High West. I would like to try a good rye and will have to make a choice between these two (I noticed the FEW is available in the store I frequent). Which one comes to your mind as the one to try first?

    • Hey Abe,

      I would go with the Rendezvous. It’s more along those “classic rye” notes and would be a great introduction. This is a really really good, but also a bit different than most other ryes out there.


      • Thanks for the recommendation, Josh. That advice also works because the Rendezvous Rye is about $15 less expensive than the FEW in my local store! I’m looking forward to dipping my toes in the rye whiskey waters.

        Much appreciated.

  2. Tasted from batch 15-9, bottled at 47.2%.
    Compared to Bulleit rye, which is an amazing product for the price, FEW is much more expensive and not quite as complex (at least superficially). However, it makes up for this in other ways. For one, it is amazingly spicy and long, yet superbly balanced in the mouth. I cannot pretend to dissect the smells or flavors like the so-called pros do, but there is a distinct and very appealing note of bananas. I have been sipping this for a few days now and I love it more and more. Can’t put it down. I’m really puzzled by some of the negative reviews I have read elsewhere. Maybe recent batches are more aged and balanced?
    Anyway, I’m not enough of a rye connaisseur to say where this rye stands in the usual norms of rye whiskey but I’m very experienced about Scotch, Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados and, to a lesser extent, Bourbon and I can say that FEW Rye ranks very high in my repertoire of favorite spirits (I just confirmed by tasting it side by side with Delamain Pale & Dry Cognac and Yoichi 10 year old Single Malt). In comparison to FEW, the Lot 40 rye, which is highly regarded in Canada, is somewhat bland and uninspiring to me. It’s like comparing a top shelf Chablis Grand Cru to a $25 California Chardonnay. Some (many) people will prefer the smooth Californian but die hards will love the incomparable sharpness of the Chablis.

  3. I love the bejeezus out of this rye. Have you discovered a rye or two with relatively similar tasting notes for those of us who can’t seem to find this gem anywhere?

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