Have you heard of Milk & Honey? It’s the world’s first Israeli whisky distillery, set to craft a high class whisky in the coming years. Based in Tel Aviv they began distilling in 2015 and have just released two (experimental) single malt whiskies for the first time!
We were given the opportunity to taste their New Make and young Single Malt ‘The Last One’, which is an exploration of what their spirit tastes like before it’s whisky. Matured for about one year it’s far from a final product, but it’s great to taste this work in progress, which leaves us excited about what’s yet to come.
‘The Last One’ has matured on ex-red wine (STR) and ex-bourbon, bottled at 46% ABV. But before we dive into this, we are going back to the very base: the new make. New make is the raw distillate before it goes into the cask. It often gives a good impression of the true core of the distillery. The sample was bottled at 40% ABV.
Pear, marshmallows, sugar, shoe and nail polish, acrylic paint, peppermint, freshly cut flowers, chalky.
Licorice, marshmallows, toast.
Licorice again, grainy, cardboard boxes, peppermint oil, yeast.
All in all a wonderful nose, very sweet and fruity. The palate and finish stay a little bit behind, but we think it’s because it’s watered down to 40%.
Now we head onto the next step: maturation. This can shape the distillate into something wonderful, if done right that is.
Pear, sweet vanilla, cooking apples, lemon, dark chocolate sprinkles, ‘green’ barley.
Young, woody and a bit harsh at first. Licorice, aniseed, winter spices and lemongrass when it settles down.
Aniseed, green apples, warm wood, vanilla, a trace of burnt rubber, warming notes of dried white grapes.
Overall, not a bad first step. There is wood involved, obviously, which makes it a bit less fruity and more spicy. There’s a nice hint of spices coming from the red wine cask, but it’s still peppery and harsh. Definitely needs some work.
We also got a wee taste of a Young Single Malt single cask that was specially bottled for the Benelux. This one washed lots of the flaws away. It offered more depth, a hint of smoke, tropical fruits and is one to get very excited about.
The fact that M&H offers these experimental series, even when their spirits already have their magic age to be called whisky, tells us that they take their job very seriously. It shows a lot of patience and love for their product. Meticulously balancing all the little steps and let people be part of that progress.
All the above makes us looking forward to their first ‘non-experimental’ whisky, we keep a close eye on them!