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  • May 29, 2016 2 min read

    If there’s a trend going on within the whiskey industry, I would say the rise of craft distilleries would be at least one of the talking points. There are numerous distilleries that have come on the scene using innovative ways to develop their craft and produce a high quality product.  One such example of a craft distillery is a company named Koval.  Founded in 2008, Koval is Chicago’s first distillery since prohibition.   They produce organic whiskey and other spirits with a strong emphasis on production from start to finish.  One of the more unique ways in which they add to their craft whiskey is by only using the “heart” cut of the distillate.  The head and tails of the distillate are never re-distilled.  There are numerous distinct ways in which they produce craft products and you can find out about them in more detail here.

    The hands on approach to their craft intrigued my interest in their whiskey. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on one of their bottles of Single Barrel Bourbon.  Now let me start out by saying that this is a unique bourbon and you will realize that from the moment you open it.  The reason for the uniqueness is that even though it meets the 51% corn requirement in the mash bill for a bourbon, the typical use of rye, barley, or wheat for the remaining ingredients are not present.  Instead, Koval bourbon only uses a grain called millet to add to the corn.  Millet is an important grain in parts of Asia and Africa.  With only the ingredients of corn and millet in the mash bill, Koval has developed bourbon that is not only unique in taste, but gluten free, which is a plus for those with sensitivities.

    As far as my experience with Koval’s bourbon, I would say that I was actually impressed. Once I was able to let go of my tasting parameter from previous bourbon’s I’ve tasted, I was able to really appreciate the new flavors and notes that this bourbon with a non-traditional mash bill brought to the table.  Bringing innovation within the industry is exactly what the founder’s Robert and Sonat Birnecker are trying to do.  I appreciate their approach to craftsmanship, but most important their attention to producing a quality whiskey as well.  I would recommend their bourbon not only as a way to enjoy a great pour, but also as a way to expand your palate when it comes to bourbons.

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