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86 points

Koval Single Barrel Bourbon (Barrel 1,250), 47%

Certified organic, “aged under four years.” Oak is forward on the nose—young and fresh-sawn—with sweet spicy hard candies: cinnamon and teaberry. Juicy in the mouth: sweet, springing with that spice-fruit bounce off an oak board. Rye oil hides in the back, then slides forward with the oak to take over the finish. Dynamic. I haven't been a big Koval fan, but we're definitely on the right path here.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

84 points

Koval Single Barrel Four Grain (Barrel 897), 47%

Oat, malt, rye, and wheat are the four organic grains (like you, I was instantly curious); nice amber color. Hot and sweet (with a hint of dill) on the nose, rafting in on a thick oak plank. Sweet grain, cut wood, and lingering heat make this good, but I'm looking for more complexity. There's no clear handle to this one, no “I'm bourbon,” or “I'm malt,” which is intriguing, but it's just...good, not inspiring. Odd complaint, but there you are.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

83 points

Koval Single Barrel Rye (Barrel 1,326), 40%

Certified organic, distilled from 100% rye. First whiff: like that smell when you tear apart anti-theft plastic packaging. Swirl and warm to get unseeded rye bread, old books, bitter grass. Palate is quite right: sweet grain and a bit of mint balanced by bitter rye oils and wood, slipping into a sweet but wood-framed finish. Pleasantly youthful whiskey in the mouth; nose is sharp still.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

77 points

Koval Rye Chicago, 40%

Smelling the rye from a foot away after pouring. Exceptionally clean aroma of grain; the oily/spicy rye notes come through clearly. Quite smooth. Not a lot of flavors: very focused on the rye itself, with grain and just a touch of mint. A long finish with sweet grain that slowly turns to mint in the end.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

75 points

Koval Levant Spelt, 40%

Provocative: spelt’s an interesting aroma. Grainy and a bit earthy, with hints of golden delicious apple all combining in the nose. There’s a fast, high flow of creaminess that spreads quickly and disappears, leaving a slightly fruity, grainy aftertaste. Interesting sensations, and again, quite clean.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

74 points

Koval Raksi Millet, 40%

A lively light fruitiness (white grapes, green plum) in the nose. Quite grainy, but with an interesting hint of vanilla and a slight saltiness. Finish is a bit astringent, unlike the other Koval spirits. I’m finding these an interesting exercise in distillation, and educational.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

74 points

Koval Midwest Wheat, 40%

So that’s what wheat smells like: not much. The aromas here seem to be mostly yeast-derived, with a faint ripe fruitiness (undefined: peach, apple?) and alcohol heat, and a touch of wheat-origin sweet grass. Wheat’s in the mouth, like chewing fresh grain with some water and alcohol. It’s all there, and the finish is sweet, and it’s clean, but…that’s about all. White bread whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

73 points

Koval American Oat, 40%

Very similar to the Midwest Wheat in aroma, with a slight additional tanginess…but that could be from sensory deprivation. Drier in the mouth, with a slight medicinal character to it that increases as the finish goes on; like a high school chemistry lab storeroom, or a bottle of fresh aspirin.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)


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