Advantage After Hours Episode 5
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Advantage After Hours Episode 5: FEW Spirits All Secrets Known Bourbon Review

There are no secrets here, so we make them known by reviewing the Alice in Chains collab with FEW Spirits, bourbon finished in ex-tequila barrels.

Advantage After Hours shows what happens when four guys (and occasional special guests) with vastly different whiskey tastes and experiences try and review a whiskey for the first time. Naturally, the result is a well-rounded review from four different perspectives, rather than just from the hardcore bourbon drinkers that you find in most reviews.

About FEW Spirits

Barrel finishing has exploded in popularity over the past couple of years with craft distillers and major distilleries all getting into the game. From different wine barrels to different types of oak to different types of spirits, it seems like every distiller and non-distilling producer is looking for the next big thing.

FEW Spirits in Evanston, Ill. is a craft distiller than flies under the radar, but makes whiskey solid enough to be acquired by Heaven Hill in 2022. They’ve also thrown their hat into the ring with some different finishes and techniques in recent years.

One of the ways in which they are doing this is by using liquids other than water to proof down their bourbon and rye, and thus, creating new versions of each. For example, their Cold Cut Bourbon takes their cask strength bourbon and cuts it with cold brew coffee. Likewise, their Immortal Rye takes their cask strength rye and cuts it with 8 Immortals Oolong Tea. The result is something like a flavored bourbon and rye done in a more natural way than simply adding flavors after the fact.

One thing that FEW takes pride in is its role in bringing whiskey back to Chicagoland. Evanston was, after all, a prominent location of the Temperance Movement during Prohibition and remained a dry city for many years after. Founder Paul Hletko helped lead the charge to overturn those laws, and in 2011 opened the first distillery in the area since Prohibition. He aptly named it FEW, which just so happens to be the initials of Francis Elizabeth Willard, who was one of the key figures of that Temperance Movement.

Their Products

Chattanooga Whiskey has a solid line of products and special releases.

  • Straight Bourbon Whiskey – A three-grain small-batch bourbon utilizing corn, northern rye, and malted barley and bottled at 93 proof.
  • Straight Rye Whiskey – Bottled at 93 proof just like the bourbon, FEW rye consists of a 70% rye mashbill.
  • American Straight Whiskey – A blend of FEW’s bourbon and rye plus a cherrywood smoked malt whiskey creates this 93-proof mélange that is neither bourbon nor rye, but American whiskey.
  • Cold Cut Bourbon – FEW takes their cask strength bourbon and cuts it with cold brew coffee to create yet another 93-proofer.
  • Single Malt Whiskey – FEW’s entry into the single malt category is a 100% malted barley smoked with cherry wood.
  • Immortal Rye– The rye version of Cold Cut, FEW starts with their cask strength rye and cuts it with 8 Immortals Oolong Tea, resulting a 93-proof rye that has a ton of flavor.
  • Alice In Chains – FEW’s bourbon aged in ex-tequila barrels for 6 months and bottled at 101 proof. Named ‘All Secrets Known’ in collaboration with Alice In Chains.
  • Motor Oil – A blend of FEW bourbon finished in rum barrels, FEW bourbon finished in vermouth barrels, and a mesquite-smoked wheat whiskey, bottled at 101-proof. This was a collaboration with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
  • Flaming Lips – A 70% rye, 20% corn, 10% malted barley mashbill fermented with a French wine yeast, this was a collaboration with The Flaming Lips.

Alice in Chains All Secrets Known

The Details

Type: Finished Bourbon

Company: FEW Spirits

Distilled By: FEW Spirits

Price: $50-60

Age: NAS

Mash Bill: 70% corn, 20% northern rye, 10% 2-row malted barley

Proof: 101

Tasted In: Glencairn

The Review

In previous reviews, we did high proof (Smoke Wagon Uncut the Younger), single barrel (Buzzard’s Roost barrel pick from Malloy’s Finest), toasted barrel finish (Yellowstone Toasted), and infused whiskey (Chattanooga Pecan Infused). Now, we’re trying our first whiskey finished in a barrel that previously held something else.

You never really know what to expect with finished whiskies. Most of the time, the finish adds to the whiskey nicely, but sometimes it overpowers it or takes away from it, resulting in a bottle you wish you wouldn’t have purchased.

Similarly, when a celebrity is involved with a release, more often than not it’s a marketing ploy to sell whiskey and make money. It’s not usually good juice; they just slapped their name on it and marked up the price. Think Scottie Pippin’s Digits release a few years back.

This one, however, was enjoyable from start to finish.

Borbon finished in ex-tequila barrels has been done before, but FEW does it really well with All Secrets Known. The flavors marry really well with the tequila not overpowering the bourbon, but providing a nice light addition.

All of the guys noticed some peppery spice right off the bat, but it mellowed out quickly and finished nice and sweet. The 101 -proof is 8 points higher than FEW’s straight bourbon but there was virtually no lingering heat despite the spicy front end.

Zach, who hates bourbon but is a tequila guy, agreed that this was his favorite bourbon to date.

Jim, who mostly just likes a Jack and Coke, was impressed with how drinkable it was.

Matt, who has a good base and is starting to branch out, also liked it.

Justin, our most experienced whiskey drinker, was pleasantly surprised by it. His only other experience with a tequila finished bourbon was Chattanooga’s Experiential Batch 018, and he feels like FEW’s version is more cohesive. Chattanooga’s version is much more tequila-forward (perhaps because it used extra anejo tequila barrels?) and he wasn’t expecting to like FEW’s version as much as he did.

The Verdict

All Secrets Known gets 2 thumbs up from all four of us. The tequila finish makes it more of a situational pour rather than a daily drinker, but since it is so well done, it’s not a bottle that you have to hide on the bottom shelf. It’s certainly one worthy of pulling out when you have some friends over to add some variety to your tastings.

While we recommend it, you may have a hard time finding it. FEW only produced 3,300 bottles of this release in September of 2023 to coincide with Alice in Chain’s new tour. If there are any bottles still floating around shelves, make sure you don’t pay more than MSRP of $50-60 max. Above that is where it gets into dangerous territory because that seller is banking on you paying extra for the novelty.

All Secrets Known - Buy It

About Advantage After Hours

In each episode, we will taste and review a different whiskey that none of us have tried before. Each of us has a vastly different experience and taste in whiskey, so rather than getting a review from only hardcore whiskey drinkers, you get four different perspectives on that same whiskey:

  • Justin (The Adventurer) has hundreds of bottles. All of them are open and available to share with family and friends. He loves to try the latest releases from Chattanooga, Starlight, or Penelope more than hunting for Pappy, Weller, or Blanton’s.
  • Jim (The Traditionalist) is open to trying anything, but really just likes a Jack & Coke. His favorite whiskey is the basic Jack Daniel’s.
  • Matt (The Upstart) is familiar with the basics and looking to branch out to new whiskies. He loves anything from Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill.
  • Zach (The Newb) hates whiskey. If it were up to him, he would never drink it, but he’s a good sport for Advantage After Hours. His go-to drink is a tequila shot or Captain Morgan.

Our plan is to invite special guests to join us for each episode and we can’t wait to see what they think of the whiskies we taste as well.

We will also highlight a different trailer in each episode. This week’s featured trailer is a 7’x14′ Discovery Cargo Trailer. This one is an aluminum cargo trailer with a blackout package, flat front, 6-inch extra height, and rear ramp door. With tandem axles, you can haul plenty of cargo, and the aluminum frame is not only lighter (easier to tow) but also stronger (longer lasting) than steel.

This one has been on our lot for a while and is currently on sale for $10,495. That’s $1400 off MSRP!

Give us a call, send us a text via the widget on our site, or submit a quote request.

7'x14' Discovery
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