Think you know Bourbon? Koval Single Barrel is likely to be the most unique Bourbon you have ever tasted.
is the first small batch distillery in Chicago
since the dark days of the prohibition era, and one of the leading craft distilleries in the US.
It was founded in 2008
and Sonat Birnecker
who abandoned their academic careers to follow their hearts. Growing up, Robert lived near Salzburg, Austria,
and was immersed in a culture of small batch distilling, so perhaps this is destiny. For those of us who love great spirits, it is just good luck for us!
The distillery supports sustainable agriculture and is certified as both organic and kosher
—there’ll be no outsourcing for these kids. In eight short years
they have expanded their miracle-working to … geez, just about everything from Gin, to Whiskey, to Liqueurs, and a bunch of other fiddly things, all of them professionally crafted and tasty-good. In fact, they are rated as one of the top ten small-batch distilleries in the US.
We just LOVE the smell of innovation in the morning!
If you call yourself a Bourbon fan, you probably know that you can’t call it Bourbon unless you follow a bunch of rules. Fair enough. One of those rules is that Bourbon is at least 51% Corn. The rest is usually a chefs-choice of rye, barley, and wheat. But … the good folks at Koval had their legal team pour over the fine print, and—sure enough—it doesn’t HAVE to be rye, barley, and wheat. As long as you have the corn part right, the rest can be any other grain.
Anyway … Koval starts with corn and then finishes off the mash bill with millet and the result is unlike any other Bourbon we’ve tasted so far with a fruit-forward character that compliments the sweetness of the corn. Everything else is just how you want it … new oak casks, proper aging, etc. Some folks talk a good innovation game, but Koval brings the small-batch and single-barrel goods. If you are not intrigued yet, then someone broke your sense of wonder and we feel sorry for you.
Millet has been used to make distilled spirits in Nepal for more than a century. Traditional Nepalese “Whiskies” made with millet include Tongba (a steeped whiskey-like drink filtered through a special bamboo straw), Raksi (similar to a cross between Gin and Japanese Saki), and Chhaang (similar to beer and made with millet, rice, and/or barley).