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September 30, 2017

Review: Koval Vodka

by Jeff Ellingson

Koval Vodka is a true grain to bottle vodka made from 100% Non GMO Organic rye grown by contracted local farmers.  The rye is milled onsite.  The water is sourced from Lake Michigan using a natural charcoal purification method.  Koval translates to blacksmith but also refers to new ventures, and to forge in new directions.  The Koval Distillery was the first legal distillery in Chicago since Prohibition.  It was established in 2008 by Robert and Sonat Birnecker.  Koval Vodka is twice distilled in a custom built pot still handcrafted in Germany by Kothe Destillationstechnik.  The final product is bottled on site.The aroma is earthy, fresh spicy rye, vanilla, citrus, and anise.  The rye bread entry is joined by fresh orange.  There is a soft mouth feel packing more natural rye flavor than any spirit I’ve tasted.  Creamy vanilla bean and licorice arrive at the midpoint, but never overtake the rye lead.  The clean fade has mineral texture with charcoal and lime pulp taste.  It finishes warm and semidry with lemon sorbet flavor, leaving a long peppery sting.  Koval Vodka has a gin like quality to it, with rye replacing the juniper.  Priced under $25 Koval Vodka is a bargain for those looking for a well crafted vodka that is not odorless and tasteless.

Made in Chicago Illinois

40% Alcohol

Score: 92

Award: Gold Medal

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