Review: Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

Koval Millet 1This whiskey is made from 100% millet grain, distilled in Chicago at Koval, a high-tech craft distillery which was established in 2008 run by a married couple. All of their whiskey is organic, and matured in 30 gallon barrels (about half the size of standard 53 gallon bourbon barrels). Rather than just re-iterating what is on their website, you can check out their information here. This whiskey is aged less than 2 years in new oak, but, because of the small barrel, the wood to spirit ratio is higher and it ages faster than a similar whiskey in a large barrel. My bottle is from barrel 298.

Nose: Well, this one is a bit different. Charred, ashy oak, stewed fruits, prunes, light vanilla, banana laffy-taffy, anise, and creamy coconut. It has a bit of a herbal character to it as well – but the dominant flavour for me is the smoky char. There’s also a spicy feel to it as well, though I can’t pin down the spices specifically. 25/30 (83%)

Taste: Caramel, and fresh charred oak, along with some sharp, spicy and ashy notes. There’s a good grainy note to it as well – millet, I suppose? (I’ve only had it once – and I don’t remember what it tasted like). We have banana cream pie amidst the grainy structure and spicy edge – I think it’s quite well done. 25.5/30 (85%)

Finish: More ash, light herbal and creamy notes as well. Still we have some light creamy notes – banana, vanilla, caramel, and coconut as well as some clove. It’s a bit drying with a little bit of a spicy feel. 16.5/20 (83%)

Conclusion: Interesting all of the ashy notes – I am not familiar enough with millet to know if they could originate from that or whether it’s just from the barrel. Though I don’t find it particularly complex, it is very easy to drink and enjoyable, and well balanced. This seriously mKoval Millet 2akes me wonder why we don’t see more millet whiskies out there – even if not as the main grain, all the flavour the grain packs in this whiskey makes me think it’d also be a fantastic blending grain. A bit pricy, but definitely a worthwhile experience if you are able. 16.5/20 (88%)

Overall: 84.5/100


One thought on “Review: Koval Single Barrel Millet Whiskey

  1. Pingback: My Favorite “Standard Drams” of 2015 | Whisky Won

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