Whiskey Review: Koval Single Barrel Rye Whiskey

, | July 7, 2015

Koval Single Barrel Rye Whiskey

image copyright The Whiskey Wash

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

My personal philosophy is that there is a whiskey for every moment of the day…for every occassion, and every meal.  Choosing the right whiskey for the moment can be as simple as looking at what winks from the shelf, or as complex as choosing flavors that complement food, or searching through my mental library of spirits for that combination of sweetness and fire to enhance a mood. Some whiskeys are only agreeable in certain situations.

And then there are the rare few, like the Koval Single Barrel Rye, that slip easily from moment to moment.

Now, we’ve already written an in-depth article about the Koval distillery in Chicago, as well as reviewed Koval’s Single Barrel Bourbon, with its interesting addition of millet.  So, I was rather tempted to leave the rye for another place in the rotation, but once I opened the bottle, I knew I had to share.

Koval’s Single Barrel Rye is just that: 100% organic Mid-Western rye.  With no malted barley in the mash bill, one would expect the signature cinnamon burn to take off from the glass and smack a person right in the olefactory.  Bottled at 80 proof, however, this little beauty exhibits so much more.

In the glass the light copper liquid plays on little legs. On the nose, an intriguing dance, heavy with nutmeg and honey, with hints of jasmine and pepper promising something more than the usual power-rye.

On the palate, ginger and cinnamon balance each other like a a well-made spice cake.  The finish is longer than one would expect from the light legs, with a bit of maple syrup and a creamy mouth feel.

I must admit, I was sorry to finish the dram – it was perfectly suited to the moment.  In fact, I have a feeling the Koval Single Barrel Rye could slip right in to just about any moment. This little black dress of a whiskey would be just as perfectly paired with an al fresco peanut butter-and-banana sandwich, as an exclusive soirée in Manhattan.

I give it 92 points and a permanent place in my personal whiskey library.

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Tish Lester

Tish Lester is a former restauranteur whose love of good flavors led her to the world of whiskey, where she is an avid participant, having attended nosings, tastings and master classes throughout Europe and the United States. She has recently discovered the truth that for every moment in our lives,...