FEW & Flamings Lips Brainville Rye WhiskeyR

"This could have been an awesome rye, despite the price tag, but not at 40%"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Born out of a collaboration with rock band The Flaming Lips and artist Justin Helton, FEW released a special rye called “Brainville” in 2016. Previous occupation in the music industry, made it “a no-brainer” as FEW’s master distiller Paul Hletko says. It is named after a song on The Flaming Lips’ album “Clouds Taste Metallic” (maybe an idea to tune in while tasting this rye). I must admit I am not the greatest fan of their music (slightly too weird for me), but who knows it might have been played during distillation of this bourbon. For the rest it is using the FEW’s standard rye mash bill and it contain no age statement. So I guess it is particularly a selection of special casks for this occasion. Let’s see if the whiskey was influenced by the music.

Nose

Interesting… there is lots of cotton candy or “cinnamon pillows” (typical Dutch candy). Sweet, minty and creamy. Cherries, cinnamon, sugar and crème fraîche. A solid nose, which at times reminds me of Glen Scotia with its sour milk notes. I get spiced fennel, balsamic strawberries, and strawberry yoghurt. Again, a very interesting, unusual and balanced nose. It is also non chill-filtered (hooray!), since I seen all kinds of small stuff floating. Does not sound too good, but this could significantly enhance the palate.

Taste

Lighter as you would expect based on the nose. It has got enough complexity with mint, basil, strawberries, yoghurt, pesto, pine tree seeds, caraway, a hint of sweet balsamic, parsley and fennel seeds. However, it lacks power and feels watery. Why 40% when you have got such a good rye? Why, FEW, why? The aftertaste is way too short, as is to be expected.

Overall

Good nose, awesome complexity, but too little power on the palate. This at 46 or 50%… what could this have been a awesome rye. We can only dream of that. I also find the price too steep from their standard expression. I mean $90 would be acceptable, but $125 and beyond sounds way too greedy for this ABV. Sorry guys.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.17 (11 votes) * @TheWhiskeyJug: 86/100 * @DrinkHacker: B+
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Sweet <-> Spicy
35%
Nose 88%
Taste 84%
Balance 86%
Depth 88%
Finish 83%
Score