Milk & Honey, based in Tel Aviv, is probably the best known Israeli distillery, at least here in Europe. We’ve seen some limited expressions in the past couple of years and now they’ve launched M&H Classic, the first commercial single malt bottling so to speak. Still limited availability but now on the shelves in Holland, France, UK, Germany, Austria and Poland. It has also been introduced in Belgium this month.
M&H Classic is a combination of 80% ex-bourbon casks and 18% STR casks (red wine casks that are shaved, toasted, re-charred), as well as tiny portion of virgin oak casks. It is very young, between 3 and 4 years of age.
Milk & Honey Classic (46%, OB 2019, 10.000 btl.)
Nose: punchy start, including a boozy note. Some rather floral top notes, mixed with honey and fruits (the usual peach / apple combo). New furniture scents with vanilla and nutmeg. A faint whiff of red wine in the background. It’s assertive (good) but also a bit unbalanced.
Mouth: better. The fruity notes are brighter (oranges, apples) with more honey. Of course there’s still a big oaky / spicy theme (green pepper, nutmeg, clove). Bready notes. Still a raw grainy side.
Finish: medium, quite grassy and spicy.
So yes, this is really okay for a first wide-scale expression, but it’s too young and lacks some integration to recommend it. I would argue colder climates have better results with STR casks? Big progress though, I’m sure they’ll find a better balance in due time.