FEW Spirits and The Smashing Pumpkins Collaborate on Bourbon

Evanston, Illinois-based FEW Spirits and multi-platinum selling modern rock band The Smashing Pumpkins announced the release of FEW Smashing Pumpkins Bourbon. The 93-proof bottling is FEW’s signature straight bourbon, aged four years, and cut to bottling strength using Midnight Rose black tea from Madame Zuzu’s Emporium, the independent, boutique tea shop run by The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and his wife, entrepreneur Chloé Mendel Corgan.

FEW Spirits’ distillery is roughly a six-song metro ride south along the moody shores of Lake Michigan from Highland Park, the cafe-, bar- and restaurant-dotted enclave that is home to Madame Zuzu’s. It’s from his distillery that FEW founder and master distiller Paul Hletko has developed a well-established track record of partnering with high-profile musicians and creating spirits that are representative of his collaborators.

“Whether you’re making music, painting, blending tea or distilling spirits, you’re making art,” said Hletko. “As a Chicagoan, I felt a personal responsibility to match the raw, primal energy of the Pumpkins. Songs like ‘I Am One’, the opening track of the band’s first album, Gish, provided a ton of inspiration. Press play and you’re immediately struck by these thumping, propulsive drums, joined seconds later by a tight bassline groove before crunching guitars kick in to round out what, for me, is such a signature sound. That’s the driving, yet symphonic quality we wanted to bring to this liquid.”

FEW Smashing Pumpkins bourbon is, like the band, a singular experience. Bright aromas of rose water and ripe honeydew melon peek out above more familiar vanilla and caramel. On the palate, fans of FEW whiskeys will recognize signature bold, sweet and spicy bourbon notes, along with flavors of rose water, sandalwood, caramel, vanilla, and black tea all backed by a full body and long finish.

Award-winning Chicago visual artist Katelan Foisy designed the label for FEW Smashing Pumpkins Bourbon. Foisy has worked previously with both Madame Zuzu’s and the Pumpkins, including stage backdrops for the Shiny and Oh So Bright, Spirits on Fire, and The World is a Vampire tours, as well as designing interior album art for Billy Corgan’s solo album, Ogilala. For the FEW Smashing Pumpkins Bourbon label art, she drew inspiration from elements of vintage tea tins and labels connecting the bourbon back to Madame Zuzu’s, and merged them with Art Deco and Victorian design to deliver an overall feeling of a magical experience. In a nod to her decade-plus relationship with the Corgans, she included on the rear label the lyric “time is never time at all” from “Tonight, Tonight”, which is track four on the 1996 album Melancholie and the Infinite Sadness.

FEW Smashing Pumpkins Bourbon (SRP $50) will begin rolling out at the end of May and continue through the summer, leading up to the release of The Smashing Pumpkins’ newest single. The whiskey comes ahead of and in tandem with the kick-off of the band’s North American tour featuring fellow generational touchstones Green Day and Rancid. The whiskey will be available for sale in key markets where the US Tour stops, as well as nationally through the distillery’s online ecommerce shop, at www.fewspirits.com/products/.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed