My first encounters with Chicago’s Koval distillery were Koval Single Barrel Organic Rye Whiskey and Koval White Rye Whiskey.
And what a start it was! White Rye is closer to the average side, being very young, though fresh and very funky. But The Single Barrel Rye felt very nice for a whiskey with no age statement, that has been aged in a new oak. Surprisingly smooth but with character.
Like the White Rye, this Single Barrel version is also very fresh and it offers a very versatile rye experience. The palate is rich and offers much more than the rye. Like a crossbreed of rye whisky and bourbon.
PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES – anything to get me to Chicago!
Like Neal Page (played by Steve Martin) from the movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles, all I wanted to do, was to get to the next flight to Chicago. Straight to Koval distillery.
Nose: Mix of bourbon and rye. Very fruity, pear hue with strong cinnamon apples. Ordinary apples as well with fresh and grainy notes.
Taste: Bit bourbony, the rye isn’t as strong as it is in the finish. Sweet and fruity rye, though the fruity note is just a glimpse from the nose. Water makes it very peppery, ruins the taste a bit.
Finish: Bitter rye with a fresh touch. Spices hit you in the aftertaste.
Balance: Fresh and exciting, smooth, light, yet with great character.
Distillery: Koval Region: Chicago, Illinois, USA ABV: 40% Organic whiskey, 100% rye grain. Heart Cut.
Koval in a nutshell
Distillery in Chicago. Artisans of peculiar microdistilling. Koval makes alcohol from organic single grains of any kind: wheat, oats, millet, rye and spelt for example. They bottle their stuff without aging and with minimum barrel time.