Now, if somebody were to mention single malt whisky to you, what’s the first place that would spring to mind. 99.99% of the time, you’d picture the Scottish Highlands and Glens, and for good reason too.
Scotland is synonymous with whisky distillation, yet it is not the only part of the world where whisky is distilled. Arguably the last place you’d think of in terms of single malt whisky distillation, however, would be Tel Aviv, Israel. It turns out, though, that there is a not-so hidden gem in Tel Aviv that will appeal to whisky lovers old and new, and that not-so hidden gem is The Milk & Honey Distillery.
Offering a selection of hugely popular single malts, there is one in particular that has set the whisky world buzzing as of late, and that is none other than their Milk & Honey Apex, Pomegranate Wine Cask Finish.
The Land of Milk & Honey
Israel’s first whisky distillery, the plans for this distillery were first laid out in 2012 by a group of entrepreneurs, along with world-renowned whisky expert Dr. James Swan, who oversaw operations here until he sadly passed away in 2017.
Ever since the distillery was founded, its head distiller has been Tomer Goren, so it’s safe to say that these wee drams are really something special.
The distillery specialises in ‘hot climate distillation’ due to their 300+ days a year of hot sunshine in their Mediterranean Climate. This is obviously a stark contrast to the climate you’d find on the Scottish Highlands, and indeed, the UK in general.
The heat means that the whisky ages rapidly, yet perfectly, taking on amazing natural colours and notes that you just wouldn’t find in cooler climes, regardless of what kind of setups they have in operation.
With a selection of casks chosen for each blend, you’ll find STR casks, ex-bourbon casks, and wine casks. In particular, the pomegranate wine cask used for their Apex blend, has been found to be a real winner.
Okay, we’ve hyped up this single malt enough, now it’s time to learn exactly what it is that makes this tipple so special.
At 59.5%, this small batch single malt was aged in ex-bourbon casks before being finished off in fortified pomegranate wine casks for six months. 6 months may not sound like much, yet it makes a world of difference to the look, taste, and aroma of this whisky.
On the nose, this gorgeous amber-coloured whisky immediately rewards you with rich pomegranates, ruby red grapes, nectarines, cocoa beans, and a hint of earthy peatiness.
On the palate you instantly get sticky figs and dates, along with fruity pomegranate seeds, peaches, a suggestion of Battenberg cake, with floral and spicy notes lingering in the background, trying to be discovered. A further sample should yield the faintest notes of wood smoke.
The finish lingers, with raspberry jam at the forefront, along with pink peppercorns and a touch of vanilla.
If you’re on the lookout for a wee dram for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or you know, Friday night, be sure to head on over to https://greatdrams.com/ and check out the huge selection of amazing tipples they have for sale.