Koval Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
KOVAL Distillery’s organic, single barrel bourbon has the requisite mash bill of at least 51% corn, but instead of the usual rye or wheat supplement, they have included one of the main cereals of Asia and Africa. Millet is a gluten-free ancient sustenance grain, and like corn, has a history of working in the spirits industry, albeit in Nepal, where it has long been celebrated as a libation of choice.
Tucked away in a charred new American oak barrel to age, millet and corn learn to complement each other, neither taking the lead. Out of the bottle, this duet opens with notes of mango chutney, while the millet renders a soft whisper of vanilla throughout. Then harmonizing, the grains sing with the sweetness of apricot custard. This pair finishes with peppery caramel, a diminuendo into a wisp of clove-spiked tobacco lingering on the tongue.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Established in 2008, KOVAL produces organic whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits in Chicago's first distillery since the mid-1800s. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker, chose to leave their academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian family to America. In making this decision, they vowed to make organic spirits from scratch (avoiding the common industry practice of purchasing and bottling pre-made spirits) and to change the way people understand whiskey by creating a new, signature style using only the “heart” cut of the distillate affording a brighter, cleaner take on whiskey. Embracing the grain-to-bottle mentality, each step of the spirit-making process is thoughtfully monitored beginning with contracting local farmers to grow the grain, to on-site milling and mashing, to finally distilling, bottling and packaging. After numerous international awards and Robert at the helm of consulting for the burgeoning craft industry, KOVAL has grown to be one of America’s leading small batch, independent spirit manufacturers.
Although Bourbon may be produced anywhere in the United States, it is most commonly associated with Bourbon County, Kentucky, where it has been produced since the late 18th century. Made from a mash bill containing at least 51% corn, the Bourbon Whiskey distillate must be aged in new, charred white oak barrels. Bourbon Whiskeys are bottled at eighty proof (40% abv) or higher and cannot contain any added color or flavor. A versatile spirit that can be sipped neat, with water or on the rocks, it also performs nicely added to cocktails like the Old Fashioned.