Olive oil. Dates. Halva. Israel is known for many things, but whisky? Not so much. That’s a perception Tel Aviv’s Milk & Honey Distillery is trying to change, with the release of a series of single-malt whiskies “matured under the Tel Avivian sun”.
Much like in South Africa, the warmer climes of Tel Aviv super-charge the barrel maturation process at Milk & Honey, the first whisky distillery in Israel, giving younger malts a depth that would take many more years in chilly old Scotland.
The M&H Classic is the best entry point to the range, matured in a blend of ex-bourbon casks and red-wine “STR” casks. STR is an acronym for casks that have been shaved, re-toasted, and charred to improve flavour during maturation. It’s a technique pioneered by the late whisky legend Dr Jim Swan, who was also an advisor to the Milk & Honey Distillery. The M&H Classic is a gentle dram, light on the nose and sweet on the palate, yet neatly balanced by oak and spice.
Alongside the Classic, also look out for the trilogy of malts in the M&H Elements range, with malts matured in sherry butts, Islay barrels and Israeli red-wine casks blended with the classic malt. All M&H Single-malt whiskies are certified kosher by the Tel Aviv Rabbinate. Mazel Tov.
• From the March edition of Wanted, 2021.