About Koval Barreled Gin
Koval started its life as a craft distillery, founded in Chicago in 2008, as the first distillery in Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker left their professional lives in academia to found Koval. They have been crafting certified organic whiskeys, brandies, liqueurs and specialty spirits from scratch, ever since. Being the first distillery within city limits since the mid-1800s, Koval brings Austrian distilling traditions to America.
Koval, meaning “blacksmith,” in numerous European languages, or “black sheep” in Yiddish, is one of America’s premier small batch, independent spirit manufacturers. Koval is named after founder Sonat's great-grandfather, who earned Koval the nicknam when, at the very early age of 17 he emigrated from Vienna to Chicago at the start of the 1900s, to start a business. Robert was bequeathed a treasure trove of distilling knowledge and expertise from his grandfather, Robert Schimd.
"Being a craft distiller allows us to be flexible and bring a new approach to the market," says Sonat Birnecker, the founder of Koval Distillery. "Craft can be different. Different in business model. Different in product. Craft is a way to be creative." Together with her husband, Robert, Birnecker founded Koval Distillery — Chicago's first distillery since Prohibition — in 2008.
Koval Distillery, which is situated just a few feet away from Hollywood Beach in Chicago's North End, boasts a custom-made, 2,000 gallon, Kothe Destillationstechnik copper-pot still imported from Germany. "I come from a family that's been distilling for over a hundred years in Austria," explains Robert, who has been distilling spirits himself since he was a child. "My grandfather had a distillery in Austria and I would help him to make different eau de vies and brandies when I was growing up. He taught me the importance of having the right equipment and using fresh, organic ingredients.”
Koval distillery is a grain-to-bottle operation, sourcing their grains from a local organic farmer collective in the Midwest. The grain is milled and mashed on-site, and the resultant liquid is distilled, with only the heart cut making it into the bottle. All enzymes and yeast used in production are non-GMO, and the water is sourced from Lake Michigan, purified using a natural charcoal method. This Koval Barreled Gin is bottled and packaged on-site, in a beautiful, brightly colored, argyle bottle- a design that won a Gold Medal at the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.
Crafted in the same manner as Koval Dry Gin, with flavors from rose hip, juniper, angelica root, and coriander, Koval Barreled Gin adds a new element of depth and oak from its beauty rest Koval’s whiskey barrels, yielding a new level of citrus and spice with a light butterscotch sweetness that appeals to gin and whiskey drinkers alike. A perfect marriage of botanicals and oak that’s crisp enough to be enjoyed straight, or as a new layer of depth in your classic cocktail.
Pick up a bottle of this beautiful gin today!
According to Winston Churchill, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the Empire," referring to the British officers using it to treat malaria in India.
Initially made for medicinal purposes, gin gets most of its flavor from the juniper berries added after the distillation process. It sure has come a long way from the Middle Ages, with the introduction of new botanicals, fruits, and spices, bringing it closer to people of all flavor varieties.
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