When I visited the Golani distillery last year, David said that “the casks work in the summer, that’s when the magic happens”. He has now taken that another step forward, and is now offering a selection of select casks that have matured in the top rack of the warehouse, where it’s hottest. David named those casks ‘Angel’s Choice’, as Exceptional Casks, and this first example is very much in line with that moniker.
This is a single Golani two grain (barley and wheat) wine cask, that gave up a third of its content to the angels (32% evaporated in 42 months, if we want to get technical, which translates to 0.76% per month!!).
Golani Distillery 2015 Cask 59 – Angel’s Choice – ‘Exceptional’ Golani Vino Top Rack Cask, Distilled July 2015, Bottled January 2019 (60.7%)
Appearance: Mahogany, thin and slow legs with a very sturdy necklace.
Nose: Dark red fruit coulis, fruit compote, toffee, cinnamon and clove. The signature Golani mint is on the nose with vanilla and spice. Salty caramel appears after some time with a hint of thyme. Time in the glass brings us back to the signature Golani spirit, with a new depth.
Palate: Thick and syrupy, with an almost sherry like quality. There’s the mint with oak and wood spices, and a medley of berries, with blueberries, cranberries and blackberries, followed by some baked apples and pears. After being left to rest in the glass, you can tell this is a Golani cask, but with a boldness to it.
Linger: Dry, with wood, sweetness and spice working together. There seems to be a sweet and thick remnant like Pedro Ximénez sherry, and a sweetish cinnamon and cooked clove. This has a big finish, with sweetness and dryness remaining for quite a while on in the mouth.
This is the Golani wine casks on steroids. I think that this is a beautiful example of what a good cask and the harsh Israeli summers can do for whisky. I definitely look forward to the next ‘Angel’s Choice’ cask.