FEW Spirits and The Tea Spot team up for tea-based Rye Whiskey
FEW Spirits and The Tea Spot have partnered for the release of FEW Immortal Rye – a cask-strength FEW Straight Rye Whiskey proofed to bottling strength with cold-extracted 8 Immortals tea from The Tea Spot. Immortal Rye is thought to be the first product to apply this proofing technique using tea. With the release, FEW adds to its trophy case, having secured a gold medal for FEW Immortal Rye at the 2020 Beverage Testing Institute.
Maria Uspenski, founder and CEO of Denver, Colorado-based The Tea Spot, said: “As a long-time tea industry professional and enthusiast of craft spirits, I’m thrilled how FEW Immortal Rye combines the best of both worlds. The honeysuckle aroma of our award-winning 8 Immortals Dancong oolong melds with the malty vanilla notes of the rye whiskey base, while the woody earthy character of this unique tea lingers and resonates long past your first sip, in the best of ways. We’re thrilled to be part of this collaboration with FEW Spirits and think that beverage nerds from both camps will appreciate the synergy in this whiskey made with this legendary oolong.”
FEW Immortal Rye begins with FEW Straight Rye Whiskey, which recently won Gold “Best in Class” at Whiskies of the World 2020 and has been a consistent award winner since its introduction in 2013. FEW Immortal Rye weighs in at 46.5% ABV/93 proof. An initial 6,000 750ml bottles will be made available nationwide; SRP: $44.99. Each bottle features dragon label art inspired by priceless artwork showcased at the 1893 World’s Fair, which was held just a short journey down the Lake Michigan waterfront from where FEW Spirits headquarters stands today.
“One of the real joys of this job is the freedom to wonder, ‘What if?’ and then having the creative team in place to try to search for an answer,” said Paul Hletko, FEW Spirits founder and distiller, based in Evanston, Illinois. “Just as we’ve done with previous innovation favorites like FEW Cold Cut Bourbon, FEW Immortal Rye is an example of taking the space to think about things that have never been done before, whittling that list down to the ones that are actually worth trying, and then creating something that people will not only want to try, but add to their regular drinking rotation.”
Spice of the FEW Straight Rye Whiskey (70% rye, 20% corn, 10% malted barley) folds into the 8 Immortals tea to bring an overlay of peach, honey, and dragon fruit that is otherworldly. There is nothing quite like it on the market, according to FEW Spirits, and it will appeal to drinkers who seek complexity in their whiskey and who enjoy whiskies with uncommon depth and breadth of flavour. FEW Immortal Rye contains only the highly-awarded FEW Straight Rye Whiskey and 8 Immortals tea; no sugar or additional additives are added.The “8 Immortals” are a group of xian (translated in English to ‘immortals”) in Chinese mythology, most of which are said to have been born in the Tang or Shang Dynasty. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea, which includes Mount Penglai. These historical figures represent the Taoist interest in achieving immortality. The Immortals are associated with health and prosperity, so their images are often seen at special occasions like weddings and birthdays.
8 Immortals tea is hand-harvested Dancong oolong produced in small batches by an award-winning, family-run operation that specialises in making high-end Dancong oolongs. These teas are unique to the mountainous and humid southeastern corner of Guangdong Province, China. Grown at an altitude of 2000 feet, Dancong oolong has its own unique tea cultivar. After harvesting the leaves, it goes through a carefully monitored process of sun drying and repeated oxidizing, rolling and fluffing. This meticulous crafting yields a tea of abundant natural fragrance which can fill a room. It has complex floral and sweet woody notes, smooth mouthfeel, and a persistent, enchanting aftertaste