Milk and Honey
From the title I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are thinking this has gone a little off topic and im about to let you into a secret sleeping tonic or something ridiculous like that.. No I am in fact talking about Israel’s first whisky distillery, founded back in 2012 the building of the distillery was started in 2014 with distillation starting in 2015. Located in Tel Aviv the distillery was formed out of the passion of a group of whisky enthusiasts who eventually had a dream of producing Israels first single malt.
Now Isreal is not the first or infact anywhere in the top 10 or maybe even 20 places within the world that you would pick to build a distillery, that is unless you live there, initial thoughts jump to a Jewish or Arab culture and Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are the most cultural places within the country and are able to boast superb beaches, nightlife that is ranked extremely highly, also Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world with well over 200 reported.
Milk and Honey Single Cask exclusive for the Whisky Show 2019
Distillery.. Milk and Honey
Cask.. Ex Bourbon Cask / “Kosher” Pedro Ximenez sherry Butt
Nose.. An initial onslaught of dried fruits including dates, sultanas and a apricots jump out with freshly picked plums, cherries and a little candied orange. Chocolate notes slowly develop with soft ground coffee notes, cinnamon and fresh ginger before giving way to dried tobacco leaf and a gentle vanilla note.
Palate.. A touch of oak and spicy heat welcomes you before the chocolate note start to develop with the dried fruits and a little bitterness in the form of citrus peel notes mingling underneath.
Finish.. Fading spices and drying.
Thoughts.. This is obviously young but don’t let that put you off, its the youthful vibe along with the sherry cask that lets this develop into something that highlights what the spirit will become.. The spirit hasn’t spent overly long in the Px cask so still has the chance to show some distillery traits, that said the sherry cask is the dominant feature and once again showcases the fact you don’t need to age whisky for decades in order to produce good tasting whisky…
For a country that is far from the “normal” producing area we associate with whisky they certainly have something to shout about with this expression..
As with many distilleries these days though, releasing a spirit / young whisky that has spent a period in sherry casks or any wine style casks does beg the question of why ? The obvious answer seems to be that if a bourbon cask alone is used it obviously can and will show up imperfection and youthful traits that will pulled up and therefore using the finishing / maturations in these types of casks reduces that risk..
This is becoming far more typical of initial releases and will probably become the “norm” for new distilleries which in some cases is a good thing, it also highlights the fact young whisky can be great. It also helps to increases income in that early development of the distilleries while they discover and wait for the whisky to develop into what will be the house style for their futures..
Sample kindly provided by Atom Brands.