Einstein famously said that imagination is more important than knowledge, which is why he also famously referred to the moon as "the night sun." Train your brain with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $75 for a whiskey workshop with up to 12 optional tastings (a $150 value)
- $139 for a whiskey workshop with up to 12 optional tastings for two (a $300 value)
In this comprehensive whiskey workshop, distillery ambassador Kristine Sherred goes beyond basic distinctions between rye and single malt to explain subtle variations of flavor. During the session, which runs a little over two hours, Kristine guides whiskey lovers through the spirit's history, from traditional white rye to today's high-rye bourbons, and presents both classic whiskeys and new-aged takes such as whiskeys distilled from millet, straight barley, and sorghum. Participants learn how to judge quality by discerning whether the distiller left in any tails—the bitter alcohol formed at the end of a distillation run.
Students will also learn how the production process can express different qualities in the grain, reviewing both traditional and modern distilling methods. The workshop includes up to 12 optional whiskey tastings, such as one of Koval’s white whiskeys or single-grain, single-barrel variations, and samples from craft distilleries from around the country. Workshops are held by reservation.
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. They also distill Lion’s Pride aged whiskeys, plus a selection of liqueurs and brandies, such as bierbrand made with Dynamo Copper Lager from neighbor Metropolitan Brewing. 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.
“Great workshop - definitely learned a lot. I've never particularly enjoyed whiskey before, and now I think I could actually enjoy whiskey after learning more about...”
“Great workshop - definitely learned a lot. I've never particularly enjoyed whiskey before, and now I think I could actually enjoy whiskey after learning more about it and learning about different varieties.”
“It was a great experience!!”
“It was informative and fun. There was a lot of learning happening as well as the tasting of the many different whiskeys and their many stages. ”