Koval Distillery is the first (legal) distillery in the city of Chicago since the mid-1800s. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker place an emphasis on grain-to-bottle production, thoughtfully monitoring every step of the distillation process. From sourcing local, organically grown grain, to only using the "heart" cut of the distillate, Koval has established themselves as one of America's leading small-batch, independent distillers.
The Millet Whiskey is made (unsurprisingly) using 100% millet. A prized grain in Asia and Africa, millet is often used as a base for spirits, however, this is the first whiskey to be made using millet. Notes of nut and vanilla define the palate, with a clean and bright finish.
Grain is sourced from a local farmer collective in the Midwest. The spirit is run through the 5000L pot still, specially designed to enhance the falvours of whiskey and brandy. Only the heart cut of the distillate is used - the heads and tails are collected separately and saved for future distillation. New-make spirit is then aged in new American oak from Minnesota.
Aromas of vanilla and star anise, with a subtle smokiness to it. Quite light and delicate, with apple and ginger notes coming through on the second pass. The palate has more of a caramel tone to it, with allspice and cereal notes, and a slight sweetness to it. The finish is clean and warm, with a dry, smoky character.