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Cocktails, 365 Rating: ★★★★★ There has been a resurgence in love of Old Tom Gin within the past few years. Slightly sweeter and often aged, the Old Tom Gin has a fascinating history. Some pubs in 1700s England had a plaque of a wooden cat (i.e. an Old Tom) that faced the streets. Passersby would deposit a coin and receive a nip of the gin. Unfortunately, this style disappeared and it seemed as if this complex spirit had passed on. Thankfully, like the eventual zombie uprising, this style of gin is back from the dead. For the longest time Ransom out of Oregon was the king of barrel aged Old Tom gins. FEW is dipping their toes into the water with their limited release Barrel Gin, and
The nose of the Barrel Gin reveals the same sweetness that dominated the American. There’s a slight oakiness on the front, but it quickly disappears. There is just a hint more pepper, more akin to their Standard Issue Gin than the American.
There’s a lot of depth in those first sips that wasn’t there on the nose. The sweet vanilla flavors are still on the front, but you get a lot more juniper, followed up with this great depth from the oak barrels. It has a deeper sweetness and headier flavor.
On the Rocks
The colder the gin, the more the oakiness comes out deepens and broadens. It’s still surprisingly sweet, and a bit heavier than we expected, however the bright base of the gin stops it from becoming unbalanced.
This is a well-balanced aged gin that can really open up to both newcomers and gin veterans alike. It mixes well, and is an excellent addition to a still-small section of the gin world. Kudos to FEW. Of all the samples we received, this one stood out as one of the best.
Mark Vierthaler is the founder and Editor of Cocktails, 365. His work appeared in The Tasting Panel Magazine, Savvy Host, Liquor.com, and countless other websites and blogs. He is Bar Smarts certified, and works with bars and restaurants in cocktail creation and pairing. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com