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Usually, when we talk about or drink a whiskey we refer to cereals such as rye, barley, corn and oak. We rarely meet millet and today we will see a whiskey that uses it at 100%. So how did the fresh idea come from the KOVAL distillery, the first distillery that operated in Chicago after prohibition?

The sympathetic 100% millet whiskey comes from KOVAL distillery in Chicago, one of the leading, independent distilleries which is producing small-batch labels in the United States.

KOVAL Millet Single Barrel is awarded with a silver medal in 2015 at the Spirits Prestige International Awards (SIP), it is the heart (and only) of organic millet distillation.

In many Eastern European languages, KOVAL has the meaning of “blacksmith”, while in Hebrew it is used for “black sheep”, meaning something pioneer, unusual. The first distillery in Chicago since the middle of the 19th century belongs to the Birnecker couple. Quitting their academic career, Robert and Sonat decided to involve in distillation, adopting a green philosophy in their work. KOVAL’s ecological consciousness is expressed by harvesting organically grown grains and the specially crafted distillery of the German company Kothe.

The bottle is robust and the curves predominate. Cork stopper and discreet square label with no extras. Bottles at 40% abv. Clear with amber, honey color.

At the nose it is very fresh, leaving a refreshing sense of fresh fruit, mainly pear and distinctive peach. In the mouth grain flavor, subtler and less aggressive than usual because of millet. A distinct bitterness from spices, a combination of wood, allspice and cloves. Between this point and the aftertaste, I detected a distinctive sour honey, apricot and vanilla flavors that have prevailed. Finally, a brief “burn” left a pleasantly dry feeling in the mouth, which was limited by the addition of an ice cube to a second test.

The only negative thought, in my humble view, is the somewhat high price (€ 38,90 at 500ml before VAT-for the Greek market). We are talking about an experimental effort, with new flavors, so KOVAL should find a way to make it easier for us to find a place in our spirits range and to introduce it to our consumers! Overall a special distillate, a fresh idea, positive different. Fresh mouthfeel and easy to drink. I suggest it, in a Boulevardier with fruity character combined with Cocchi Di Torino.

KOVAL products are imported to Greece by Deals SA.

KOVAL Distillery
Address: 5121 North Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, USA
Email: info@kovaldistillery.com
Url: www.kovaldistillery.com
Founded: 2008
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Nearchos Gkikas aka Novak, is working as a bartender for more than 10 years, mostly in Athens bars. He loves spices and hates the term mixologist. In his free time, he plays with his cats.

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