Golani is the Golan Heights Distillery’s basic core range. As I mentioned in the Golani Black review (here), David Zibell made this core line one of single casks, which is, to the best of my knowledge, the only distillery doing so.
The core range of the small batch malted barley and wheat sour mash includes the Golani Black, matured in new American oak charred oak casks; Golani Vino, reviewed here, matured in European oak Cabernet casks from the neighboring Golan Heights Winery, and Golani Green, which is a vatting of the Black and the Vino. These three expressions are the core of the whisky range. Additionally, two expressions have additives, and include Golani Maple and Golani Honey.
Besides the Golani line, there are also releases of single casks of single malts, the first of which I reviewed here.
The three whisky expressions are presented at 40% at natural color, although I’m tasting them at cask strength, an option available to visitors to the distillery.
Golan Heights Distillery – Golani Vino Single Cask 15, First Fill Red Wine French Oak Barrique (64.7% ABV, NC)
Appearance: Copper, thin legs coming off a pretty necklace, with quite a bit of residue droplets.
Nose: Dry and sweet. The wine cask is very much evident, but so is the spirit. Hints of the same creaminess detected in the Golani Black, with that softer DNA vis-a-vis the 3 year old single malt in the wine cask, which was much more intense. Fresh peaches, brown sugar and floral notes. A hint of sourness comes up after a time. A few drops of water soften it, with banana coming through with a baking pastry – maybe even banana bread, with the dryness turning almost mineraly.
Palate: Tart and sweet, wood spices and hints of vanilla custard. There are also some red fruits, clove and dark raisins.
Linger: Pretty intense linger in the mouth, spice and sweetness on the tongue with dryness on the inside of the cheeks. The gullet has a ring of peppery spice around it.
This is so different from the soft, easy drinking, Golani Black. This is complex, a lot more ‘in your face’ it develops with water and the dryness and fruitiness interplay beautifully. This is a whisky with quite a bit of presence!
Official sample provided by Golan Heights Distillery.