Looking back at my very long list for 2013 I found myself being surprised when I got to a few of them. Thoughts like: "Oh that was a really NICE one!" or "I need to get my hands on a bottle of that" so I thought I'd release Lassie's 12 favorite drams of 2013, cue the music:
"Spring water in sidecars and whiskies from Britain, bright copper stills and the drams to be gettin'
Brown colored bottles all tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things... (OK, I'll stop that now)
ON with the show...
Dram #12 - KOVAL Single Barrel Millet Whiskey
Koval is one of the latest craft distilleries to open in the USA. Located in Chicago Illinois; owned and operated by the husband & wife team: Robert & Sonat Birnecker. If you would like to learn more about the owners and/or the distillery please click here: http://www.koval-distillery.com/newsite/
One of the things I really love about travelling to whisky events is the opportunity to seek out something different or new and so it was during a trip to New York City that I was fortunate enough to try Koval during Whisky Jewbilee in October of this year: http://whiskyjewbilee.com/ which, I also highly recommend as far as whisky events go. Massive bang for your buck because it = great food, great venue and many awesome whiskies!
Koval also makes these as well:
I tried the rye, the four grain and the millet that night. I thought the rye, in my opinion, was still quite hot and young and coming from Canada and the land of ryes: I wouldn't necessarily seek it out, YET... Though I am hoping they have rye ageing and that I will get to try it again in a few years. The four grain was liked by many of the people I spoke to at the event and I enjoyed it but not enough to instantly say to myself: I WANT THIS! which is what happened when I tried the millet. It was one of those aha or mmmmm moments. It had character, a great mouthfeel and a flavor profile I had never tasted before. It was definitely something DIFFERENT to add to my own collection.
My scribbled thoughts that night:
Nose: Light, very sweet with lots of roasted nut aromas. After it sits in the glass - detect banana bread (strong) and star anise (with a happy face beside that one, as it took me awhile to identify it)
Palate: Sweet oily mouthfeel, Caramelized sugar and something fruity.. peach or pear maybe? Very pleasant.
Finish: Long, lingers beautifully. I LIKE.
Did a quick fact finding mission and discovered this is sold in Ontario Canada, so later on in October I bought a bottle. It was $79.95 and I know there will be people out there that will "poo poo" the fact that I spent that much money on it. Well, I like it. I can afford it and I want it in my collection. That's my criteria and in the end, it's my money? This is also available in parts of Europe and the US.
If you have a chance to at least try Koval, I hope the adventurous side of you will jump at the opportunity especially if you are interested in trying something pretty unique. I think as people who love all things whisky it's important for us to step out of that comfort zone every once and a while.
In my case I find doing so keeps me fresh and on my toes when someone asks a question or is looking for a recommendation.
Interesting factoid about this whisky: It's 100% certifed organic & kosher. So that was dram #12, join me tomorrow as I reveal #11.
Being the Lassie is wonderful, cheers!