Tag Archives: Woody

Speed dating… with whisk(e)y! Episode 2: Koval Bourbon


koval_bourbon_largeChicago, IL – 47% ABV – $53

Yet another date with a Koval whiskey.

This time it’s Koval Four Grain‘s (seemingly younger) sister, Koval Bourbon.

The mash bill is corn and millet.  Organic grains, of course.

Koval-Bourbon-1On the nose (Date # 1) –  Upfront spirity yet spicy sweetness that is reminiscent of Big Red gum.

Touches of dill weed and surprisingly enough, lithium grease.

Quite interesting for a bourbon with the industrial component.

On the mouth (Date # 2, a bit unsure about how this relationship is going however, I am hopeful) – That spice component is first and foremost.  She’s getting fresh with me.  I can dig that.

Koval-Bourbon-2Woody, for sure (the flavor, not my reaction to the spiciness) but the spirit is there as well.

Hmmm, bubble gummy and a nice little mouth feel to it.

Finish (Date # 3: The deciding factor) – Oatcakes and a touch more cinnamon.  Medium in length.

In sum (The decision) – This whiskey would hold up well in a tasting as it tells it’s own story.  And if you enjoy younger whiskeys this is right up your alley.

For me, it’s a little too young.  Some extra time in the barrel would marry well with what I can tell is a fine spirit.  Is that always the way?! Someone in a relationship is always acting a little immature – usually it’s me!

While I don’t think we’ll become malt-friend and boy-friend, we *will* remain friends.

Glenrothes 1998 vintage

Speyside region – 43%ABV – $50

Whisky hand grenades.  More often than not, if The Glenrothes is brought up in a whisky conversation (whisky comes up in conversation a few times per day, every single day of my life.  I love it!), the shape of the bottle comes up.  Thankfully, for the sake of the whisky, the topic does then change over to the actual whisky itself.

In many conversations, however, the topic switches once again from how the whisky tastes to how the whisky is bottled (this topic is not exclusive to The Glenrothes in anyway).  More to the point, the lower ABV of 43% and the fact that the whisky is chill-filtered.  Many whisky geeks I talk to are at a point where they will simply stay away from a whisky unless it’s bottled at, at least, 46% ABV (when bottled at 46% ABV, chill-filtering is not “required”).  Put another way, bottled at 46%, the whisky will not cloud up if an ice cube is dropped in or if cold water is added to the whisky.

The good folks at Whisky For Everyone (who, by the way, are also members of the Whisky Round Table) have a great article on chill filtration.  It’s short and a must read (if you ask me).

So, being bottled at 43% ABV and being chill-filtered, what do we get?

On the nose  Hey, I like this!  Very rich and thick nose and even a bit nutty.

Hints of Amontillado sherry and all of the fun things that come with it – dried fruits, lemon and honey all encapsulated in a buttery flakey crust.

Baked apples and some of what I consider to be classically Glenrothes, damp wood.

On the mouth Both watery and thick/rich at the same time (I know that doesn’t make too much sense but there is a mix of feels).

The front and sides of my mouth seem to not be affected by the fluid but the top and back of my tongue tingle with cherry, pineapple and a touch of citrus.

More apples, chalk and wood dust.

Complex?  Not very.  Tasty?  Yes.  Easy drinking?  Scarily so…

Finish –  Over all drying and laced with vanilla.

In sum A solid whisky that I’d be happy to pour on (m)any occasion(s).  Round and rich, sweet yet dry.  It’s not mind-blowing but it’s well balanced and seemingly bottled at a nice ABV (43%).  I’d love to taste this at a higher ABV but not sure we need to mess with this one.  I wonder, however, if a non-chill filtered version of this (a version that retained all of the fatty acids and esters) might have made for a more complex whisky… the world may never know.

Special thanks goes out to Danielle K for the sample!