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Koval Lions Pride Single Barrel Organic 100% Dark Oat Whiskey (750ml)
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- ABV 40%
The Lion’s Pride range of whiskies from Koval distillery (Est. 2008) represent an interesting project in micro distillation. Founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, gave up academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert's Austrian grandfather to America. Five organically grown grains (Rye, Oat, Wheat, Millet, and Spelt) are harvested locally for distillation into single grain whiskies. A portion of each batch is put aside without aging, the remainder matured in new American Oak barrels from The Barrel Mill in Minnesota. The wood for each barrel is carefully selected for the fineness of its grain and its tannin content, then examined before and after being cut by a skilled cooper. Koval only use the barrels once.
Aged for one to two years, these single barrel expressions are aged in two different ways: 'European style' in barrels with a light toast that allows the distillate to shine, while the dark expressions are aged 'American style', in barrels with more charring that ages the whiskey faster and tends to result in a more robust flavour.
We found the differences to be fairly subtle. There's a common lightness and sweetness to the range that bares similarities to several feather weight blends from Scotland - less the peat. All the Lion's Pride whiskies are non chill-filtered with no artificial colouring, certified organic and kosher.
Tasting note: Noticeably deeper in colour is the dark char expression, presenting a deep gold with a pale straw hue. Initially quite sweet, the aroma includes choc-caramel and vanilla, becoming less intense with exposure. A light entry builds into a medium dry, mid weight palate that is literally like sucking on a butter menthol lozenge. Pleasant enough, but a little one dimensional. Finish is dry, clean and relatively brief with the lozenge note persisting along side the gentle spices. 40% Alc./Vol.