About Koval Single Barrel Oat Whiskey
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 is named after founder Sonat's great-grandfather, who earned Koval the nickname Koval, 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. For this special expression they use 100% organic oats sourced from the Midwest. Aged for up to 4 years in 30-gallon new, American oak charred barrels sourced from Minnesota, this single barrel has primary notes of caramel and oats with a rich, creamy finish. Only the “heart cut” of the distillate, makes the final cut (no “heads” or “tails”).
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About American Whiskey
There are two main representatives of the American whiskey family, bourbon, and rye, but some other spirits don't fall into those two strictly regulated categories.
There's equally strictly regulated American single malt, made from 100% malted barley, Tennessee whiskey, essentially bourbon filtered through maple charcoal and aged in new charred oak barrels.
And then there's moonshine, a high proof (150- 170 proof) distilled spirit mainly made out of corn which gained popularity during the prohibition.
Check out our impressive selection of American single malts, or find your new favorite in our rich whisk(e)y selection, and get familiarized with what the world has to offer.