Milk & Honey Madeira, Tokaji, White Port, Recioto

Milk & Honey Madeira, Tokaji, White Port, Recioto

Israeli distillery Milk & Honey has this series called Art & Craft, which showcases some of the most uncommon casks. For 2024 they released four Dessert Wine Casks from Portugal, Hungary and Italy.


Milk & Honey 2019 – Madeira Casks (52,3%, OB ‘Art & Craft’ 2023, 2466 btl.)

Nose: this reminds me of an actual Verdelho. Nice sweet-and-sour balance, with Demerara sugar, golden raisins and vibrant hints of grapes. Whiffs of peaches as well. Mild hints of (rose) pepper and vanilla. After a while also a drop of coffee pralines. Reminds me of Gouden Carolus Madeira Oak at this point – modern but well made.

Mouth: the wine dominates a little now, with a sourness and some tannins that could have been more integrated. That said, nice tobacco leaves, hints of grapes and whitecurrants, as well as light chocolate again. Then caramelized almond and hints of coffee.

Finish: medium, still a bit winey, with orange peels and milk chocolate.

A good mix of vibrant fruits and the typical caramelized / chocolate notes of the Madeira. The winey edge costs a few points, but overall a succesful expression.



Milk & Honey 2019 – Tokaji Casks (52,3%, OB ‘Art & Craft’ 2023, 1550 btl.)

M&H Art & Craft: Tokaji

Nose: certainly sweeter, slightly bloated even, with all kinds of fruit syrups. Tinned peaches, mirabelles jam, baked pineapple. Lots of raisins too. This is highlighted by vanilla, a hint of white chocolate and a light floral touch.

Mouth: more apricot and grape sweetness, along with oranges and citrus zest. Vanilla and toffee notes. Then honey, a hint of white pepper and something lightly medicinal somehow (herbal wood).

Finish: medium, indeed more woody now, becoming slightly earthy and dry although there is still some caramel sweetness.

Slightly less to my liking, because the sweetness tends to overwhelm the entire profile. Personal preference of course, you may be impressed with the syrupy fruits. Score: 82/100



Milk & Honey 2019 – White Port Casks (53,6%, OB ‘Art & Craft’ 2023, 2210 btl.)

M&H Art & Craft: White Port

Nose: more balanced again. Simpy nice peaches, grapes and green apples. Maybe some mango as well. Sweet but also bright, with balanced vanilla. Light pencil shavings and faint peppery notes. Attractive.

Mouth: same thoughts. The spirit is good and the wine adds depth. Some ginger and nutmeg, as well as oranges, orange peels and lemon candy. Sponge cake and caramelized nuts. Finally a bit of woody tannins as well.

Finish: medium, on gooseberries and grape skins, caramel and hints of tea leaves.

A really nice nose with a great balance. It becomes a bit more tannic on the palate, becoming more of a mixed bag. The emphasis is on the wine here, not on the dessert aspect. Score: 84/100


For the last one, I guess a bit of information is required. Recioto is not a name you see often in the whisky world. This dessert wine comes from the Valpolicella region in Northern Italy. Grapes are partially dried, often over several months, mostly in drying chambers, with a resulting sweet wine. Kind of a next-level Amarone with more residual sugars, full of prunes, wood and forest fruits. Teeling used Recioto casks but I can’t think of other examples.


Milk & Honey 2018 – Recioto Casks (55,10%, OB ‘Art & Craft’ 2023, 2521 btl.)

Milk & Honey Recioto Cask

Nose: the darkest expression. Lots of raisins, prunes and blackberries. Lighter orange peels and raspberries too, but also Mon Chéri and hints of coffee beans in the distance. Then vanilla cake and light herbal notes. The weight of the wine is easy to notice.

Mouth: really winey again, with the dryness of red wine rather than the expected sweetness. Some caramelized nuts, maybe nougat. Then a hint of vermouth. Nutmeg and clove, with a mulled wine feeling, a bit too much perhaps. Vanilla and black peppercorns too.

Finish: longer than the other, mostly on drying herbal notes, some tannins and heavily infused tea.

The wine influence comes closer to a red wine cask than to a dessert wine cask, in my opinion. In short, not my favourite style. Always interesting to try new types of casks though. Score: 80/100