On the nose, we got clove-studded lemons, pineapples spiked with roofing nails, and three varieties of vetch (Vicia) lying half-eaten on the ground after the bull noticed you there. We wondered as we nosed it what they’d put in the mashbill. The bottle says, “100% grains”, which cleared things up about as much as Chris Christie’s news conference did. We’re guessing rye, probably some millet (given the KOVAL Millet Whiskey), and maybe some gin (that’s a grain, right?). Whatever is the case, we got waves of “Insane in the membrane / Insane in the grain” wafting up from our glasses, as though a trio of fruit flies dropped their matching boomboxes in there when we weren’t looking. There are also tangy and high register notes of cherry bubblegum flavoring agent being transported in a rusty oak bucket. While you eat a grapefruit-mango creamsicle. And enjoy a few marshmallow burps.
On the mouth, bacon, Bac-O’s®, baconistas ready to start the coup. And smoke. The nose hides the smoke better than potheads just outside the door of the principal’s office. We also got distinct notes of gin on the mouth, but it’s an exotic outlier sort of gin. It’s gin seeking asylum. It’s like drinking whisky after French kissing someone who had just drunk a gin martini, which also seems like a positive redefinition of the term “gingivitis.”
The finish is pleasant and interestingly long: it swings out like a trapeze artist who sends his partner into a double somersault. And there’s no net. Don’t ask me to explain how a finish captures a hint of what it’s like to perform trapeze without a net, but it does. And it’s much safer. If ineffability were a matter of degree, then the simile here might actually work. As with all things ineffable, you’ll just have to try it for yourself.
The KOVAL Single Barrel Bourbon is John’s dream of marketing a special limited edition Koval millet whiskey to the French–He wants to name it the “Edna St. Vincent Millay Millet Whiskey” just to watch Parisians trip over themselves as they try to say it.
–Our thanks to Mariah Veis and KOVAL for the sample!