Here’s the first Israeli spirit I’ve tried: Milk & Honey Young Single Malt – Triple Cask. It’s not old enough to be called whisky yet, it’s just a malt spirit in progress.
Milk & Honey is a Tel Aviv based distillery (said to be the first whisky distillery in the country), founded in 2014. Like so many start-up distilleries they hired the consultant James Swan until he passed away in 2017.
This third version of the Young Single Malt is matured in three types of casks: Israeli red wine, bourbon and Islay casks to finish the mix of the other two. It was bottled June 2018 – the same recipe was also bottled in February 2018. The red wine and bourbon casks will also be used for the first core range expression due later this year.
The distillery’s products are now exported to seven European countries, the US will be supplied in 2019.
Milk & Honey ‘Young Single Malt’ Triple Cask (46%, OB 2018, 50 cl., 2449 btl.)
Nose: typical young popcorn notes, with pear drops, banana ice cream and a hint of tequila. Honey. Light phenolic notes (peat but also a tyre workshop) in the background. Lemons. Coconut. Pencil shavings and light hints of yeast.
Mouth: quite rough. There are hints of very young Islay whisky (peat, sea spray). Citrus peel, crushed peppercorns, hints of mezcal and just raw spirit.
Finish: long, but it’s mostly the peppery, alcoholic heat with little actual flavour.
A clean but very young, rough spirit that simply needs more time. I understand the need to bring out something and make money, but this is too young and rough for such a wide distribution. An oddity, for now. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.