Koval Distillery

We’re suckers for craft distilleries. There’s something about them that makes you feel like the bottle was created just for you. That’s exactly how we felt when we scored some rye whiskey from Koval Distillery in Chicago.


Koval is the first craft distillery in the Chicago city limits since the Prohibition era. They opened in 2008 and their Single Barrel Rye Whiskey was one of their first spirits in their lineup. Here’s what we thought of it:


The 100ml bottle we received impressed us with its sleek bottle and simple label. What we found on the back of the bottle was even better. First off, it’s certified organic, always a plus. And the batch number was written in, signifying the time and attention Koval puts into their distilling. Naturally, we couldn’t wait to pour a glass.


We tried the whiskey on the rocks. When we poured it, it was surprisingly light and smelled like vanilla with a subtle spice. At first sip, we could taste the sweetness with barely any burn afterwards. It was easy to sip, very light but with distinct flavor. Along with the bottle, Koval sent us a few cocktail recipe suggestions. Though they sound delicious, we all agreed that this rye whiskey should stand alone. Why mask the great flavor with a bunch of mixers when it tastes great?


Koval was a winner among the DIAers. It’s a solid rye whiskey from an up and coming Chicago distillery that we would stock on our shelves. Don’t let the price tag ($45) deter you, this one is worth it.