The end of 2018 marks the third full year of operations at the Milk and Honey distillery in Tel Aviv. It thus marks, also, the last of the “not yet whisky” single malts, dubbed “Young Single Malt”.
This edition, the fourth ‘Young Single Malt’, however, is different than the others. The Last One previews the final style of the core expression due out next year: Ex red wine casks and ex bourbon casks. I have followed one the progress of cask 003 (Here , Here and here), which was the first ex red wine cask that the distillery filled.
We’ve kept up with the distillery, following the developments (see the last link in the previous paragraph) and tasting and reviewing the releases and the progressive growth of the distillery. Now the distillery is fully operational, and here are some of the numbers:
- 450 one ton mashes a year, fermented in one of four stainless steel washbacks for 60-72 hours;
- Which is distilled to low wines in a 9000 litre wash still;
- And passed through a second distillation in a 3500 litre spirit still;
- Filling 800 casks with 170,000 litres of new make.
The distillery’s products are now exported to seven European markets, with the United States slated to join the list in 2019. Also coming is the Founder’s Indiegogo edition, and a further expansion of production capacity by 20%.
‘The Last One’ is a bit of a curious choice, as it’s really young, compared to the permanent style whisky scheduled for next year. You’d think it would be casks that are close to that age, but we’ll see in the liquid how that choice plays out. I did mention in my reviews that I like the combination of the M&H spirit with the wine casks, and I’m happy that the core range will be based upon that.
Milk and Honey Young Single Malt – ‘The Last One’, Ex Red Wind and Ex Bourbon Casks, 4,000 Bottles, About One Year Old (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold, slow and thin legs running down the glass.
Nose: You get that it’s young, but you also get the wine casks with a sweet cinnamon and macerated red fruit, together with red apple peels. You can also get some honey and malt.
Palate: Bitter tannins on the tongue, with some sweetness and a wash of spice. While the spice is very dominant, there’s a hint of a fruitiness that I hope will be more pronounced in the final, 3 year old, expression.
Linger: The finish is spicy, with pepper and some cinnamon, and a hint of those macerated red fruits. It’s warming down the gullet, with a lingering dryness in the mouth, and the spice lingering for a while on the tongue.
For a ‘work in progress’, this portends well for the distillery style coming up in 2019, although I would have liked to see something a bit closer to the 3 year mark in this last WIP.
All in all, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in this distillery.