Koval Distillery


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In a Nutshell

  • Learn whiskey history & distilling methods
  • Sample American whiskeys
  • Certified organic & kosher

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires May 6, 2012. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. Reservation required; subject to availability. Must be 21 or older. Not valid for resale. Tax included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

According to a recently released survey, "whiskey distilling experience" was shown to be the number-one quality most conducive to catching the eye of an eligible oak barrel or hard-partying bathtub. Excel in the amorous art of intoxication with today's Groupon: for $99, you get a whiskey workshop at Koval Distillery (a $200 value). Groupon customers can choose to book their class on one of 20 available dates.

Run by husband-and-wife team, Robert and Sonat, Koval Distillery is the first boutique distillery to open in Chicago since Prohibition, and specializes in crafting certified-organic and kosher whiskey, liqueur, brandy, and vodka. The two-hour workshop begins with a lesson on the history of whiskey, from its rustic rye roots and the birth of bourbon, to its brief departure from law school to "discover" itself in California. Both vintage and modern distilling techniques will be discussed and demonstrated by one of Koval Distillery's master grain gurus as participants sample a selection of small-batch American whiskeys. Taste buds can fine-tune their hooch-honing skills by learning to identify grain flavor and aging nuances, and bourbon-loving brains are packed with whiskey facts and terminology capable of wooing even the most surly of father-in-law pirates.

Koval Distillery

Robert Birnecker and Sonat Birnecker-Hart are devoted to the art of distilling. For Robert, it’s a family tradition: he still treasures memories of his grandparents’ award-winning Austrian distillery, where he often helped out as a child. A graduate of Oxford and the University of London, Robert's wife, Sonat, gave up a tenured academic position to pursue the couple’s dream of making their own spirits from scratch. Today, Robert and Sonat’s award-winning Koval Distillery is the first to open in Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition. There, they blend classic, mainstream techniques with contemporary, indie methods, ensuring quality by using only certified organic and kosher ingredients grown in the Midwest.

Using a Kothe potstill custom-made and hand-built in Germany, the husband-and-wife team produces small-batch spirits, including five original white whiskeys made from rye, oat, wheat, millet, and spelt mash.These spirits have won multiple local and national awards, from Whisky Magazine’s 100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit to the Chicago Reader’s Best Local Distillery.

Customer Reviews

Nice place, very educational if you're interested in process, tasty but very small samples
Celina C. · 17 hours ago
The tour guide was funny and informative. She was very knowledgeable and provided some great insight. One thing to be aware of is that the City of Chicago limits the amount the amount Koval can pour, so you don't get large samples.
Lenna S. · a day ago
Awesome tour! Highly recommend it!
Cheryl W. · December 27, 2016
Merchant Location Map
  1. 1


    5121 N Ravenswood Ave.

    Chicago, Illinois 60640


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