Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

EVANSTON, IL (MAY 29, 2024) FEW Spirits and multi-platinum selling modern rock legends The Smashing Pumpkins, whose avant garde lyrics provided the soundtrack for a generation, announce today 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.

The partnership:
FEW Spirits’ Evanston, IL 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.”

The whiskey:
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.

The label design:
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
About FEW Spirits
A grain-to-glass distillery embracing innovation since 2011, FEW Spirits produces award–winning craft whiskey in a tucked away alley located in Evanston, IL, a historical town where Prohibition lasted until 1972. Founder & Master Distiller Paul Hletko changed the future of Evanston when he opened FEW Spirits Distillery, the first (legal) alcohol-production facility of any kind to ever open there. Since, he’s collaborated with rock stars, employed experimental distillation and proofing methods, and more.

Hletko always knew he wanted to make craft spirits — produced in the local Chicago area — that offered something that broke the rules of traditional whiskey making and offered something rare and different. Living in Evanston, a town that was prime for change after being dry for four decades post the repeal of prohibition, Paul felt it was the perfect home and backdrop for FEW and the brand. Deeply integrated into the brand story, both Evanston and Chicago are crucial elements of the FEW DNA and its inspiration. From its liquid, created from locally grown or sourced ingredients, to the look & feel of the label design, which pays homage to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago — FEW is the true definition of a local Illinois craft spirit.

About The Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most iconic, iconoclastic, and influential bands of all time, shaping alternative music and culture. Since forming in Chicago during 1988, the group have sold over 30 million albums worldwide and garnered two GRAMMY® Awards, six MTV VMAs, and an American Music Award. Their catalog includes seminal offerings such as the platinum Gish [1991], the quadruple-platinum Siamese Dream [1993], the diamond-certified Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness [1995], the platinum Adore [1998], and the gold Machina/The Machines of God [2000]. Rolling Stone cited both Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness among its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It would also be impossible to envision alternative music and culture without their signature iconography such as the idyllic album artwork for Siamese Dream, the black Zero shirt, the laissez faire bliss of the “1979” music video, the gothic metamorphosis of “Ava Adore,” or the multi-dimensional live shows that sell out worldwide to this day. 2018 saw The Smashing Pumpkins unveil the SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT, VOL. 1 / LP: NO PAST. NO FUTURE. NO SUN. and launch the immensely successful Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, which packed arenas. Maintaining this momentum, the band released their eleventh full-length double album CYR [2020], representing yet another evolution, and more recently, ATUM [2023], the sequel to 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and 2000’s Machina/Machine of God. As prolific as ever, The Smashing Pumpkins are currently working on new music. More details to come.

About Billy Corgan
Beyond founding and fronting GRAMMY® Award-winning band The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan stands out as a solo artist, producer, songwriter, poet, wrestling promoter, podcast host, and café owner. His solo catalog comprises TheFutureEmbrace [2005], Aegea [2014], Ogilala [2017], and, most recently, Cotillions [2019]. In the studio, he has notably collaborated with everyone from Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Rick Ocasek, Cheap Trick, Ray Davies, New Order, Marianne Faithful, and Scorpions to Korn, Phantogram, The Veronicas, and Code Orange. He has also contributed music to soundtracks such as Ransom directed by Academy® Award winner Ron Howard, Stigmata, and Spun, to name a few. He released his first poetry book, Blinking with Fists, in 2004. A lifelong wrestling aficionado, he owns and serves as president of The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)—home to a dynamic roster and bombastic pay-per-view spectacles. He notably owns Madame ZuZu’s Tea House in Highland Park, where he often performs intimate surprise sets, and is set to debut a new podcast under Bill Maher’s production company, Club Random Studios. Corgan also remains a staunch animal advocate who supports NO Kill shelters such as PAWS Chicago. The Chicago native is constantly writing and recording new music