Feb 032021
 

Steven Winston is a Scotsman living in Tel Aviv, who’s interest in a few bottles of whisky from the local M&H Distillery turned into a single cask. It’s my understanding that Steven has since purchased another cask, which will also be offered for sale privately by him.

M&H_Distillery (@milkhoneywhisky) | Twitter

The whisky matured first in bourbon casks, and was then moved into a PX hogshead, which is very evident in the whisky itself. This is a good example of the type of whisky M&H produces, although I think that it would have benefitted from some more time in the cask. Obviously, this is something every whisky blogger can say, and it’s probably the most “duh” comment you can make. Drink a 12 year old and say “it would have been better at 15”. Yeah, OK, duh. But with these casks it’s different. The cask was bottled a week after it past its third birthday, so when I’m talking about “more time in cask” we’re talking about a few more months, maybe 6, not years. I think that the PX cask would have mellowed out some of the pepper on the palate, and would have deepened the sweetness in the mouth. As it is, you’ll need water with it, and quite a bit.

I look forward to tasting Steven’s next offering, an ex-Islay cask (my money is on Laphroaig), and if it’s the cask I think it is, there’s an interesting story there which I’ll save for that review….

M&H Private Cask 2017/150, Ex-bourbon Cask Finished in A Pedro Ximénez Hogshead, Distilled 13.6.2017, Bottled on 20.7.2020 for Winston Whisky (57.2% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Deep gold with a very sturdy necklace and very slow droplets.

Nose: The PX sweetness first hits the nose with raisins, red fruit and some wood spices. under the sweetness there’s maIt and a hit of mustiness. Some water takes the edge off the mustiness and brings out more malt.

Palate: Wood bitterness and spice hit, with a sweetish wash of red berries and some fruit and honey. In the background the pepper is very dominant and is a bit less appealing as it makes the palate pretty aggressive. Water will shift the bitterness from the wood bitterness to citrus peel, which is the type of bitterness I like.

Linger: Sweetness on the tongue and sharp spice, with the spice lingering down the gullet. With water, the linger is pretty

Conclusion

At cask strength the dram is really rough, but with a good quantity of water you’ll find it to be interesting and fun.

May 042020
 

In 2013, plans for a distillery in Tel Aviv were well underway, and the founders of the distillery initiated a brilliant move to gain the distillery some notoriety. Hence, an Indiegogo campaign was launched which sold 1000 bottles of a future promise. This promise came to fruition in the Founder’s Edition, a beautiful rendition of the M&H Classic finished in specially sourced (kosher) Pedro Ximénez seasoned butts, presented at 57% ABV.

So having waited 6 years for this, here we go:

The first whisky distillery in Israel | M&H Whisky Distillery ...

M&H Founder’s Edition (57% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Bronze, very thin and slow legs.

Nose: Sweet spice, with both peppery notes and cinnamon with clove. It’s followed by dried apricots and red fruit. Dry wine notes, but a sweet wine. After a while in the glass, you get a creamy maltiness with a more intense sweetness. Water brings out some winey sourness. The PX is really noticeable and adds quite a bit of depth, without overpowering the spirit.

Palate: Chili pepper with sweet dried fruit, with a bit of a waxy bitterness, with washes of sweetness. A little bit of water rounds it out on the palate, bringing some maltiness in, while highlighting some citrus.

Linger: Spice (pepper and cinnamon with some chili), coupled with a dryness that almost borders on chalkiness. The linger is long remains spice prominent for a long while.

Conclusion

This is a lovely expression that really shows off the M&H spirit and the direction the distillery is headed. This is basically – cask wise – the Classic with a PX finish presented at cask strength. Both the finish and strength make this whisky one that totally rocks. I really like the strong PX influence here, which I think adds a lot of depth.

There is no doubt that this is a bottle you’ll really be happy you sprang for, way back on the Indiegogo campaign in those early pre-production days.

Sep 022014
 

I love the effect a good Pedro Ximénez cask has on whisky. I think its interplay with the spirit is beautiful, sometimes to the point of  usurping the whisky in favor of an almost syrupy sweetness (Not unlike the GlenDronach 21 reviewed here). The effect is lessened, of course, in non first fill barrels and in finishes, and a PX finish is what we have on hand.

Photo Credit: Shai Gilboa

Photo Credit: Shai Gilboa

Shai Gilboa is a whisky (and wine) connoisseur,  gifted photographer (he took the picture of Bunnahabhain above), Islay buff and all around great guy (@sgilboa). One of his most prized bottles is the 2010 Feis Ile festival bottling from Bunnahabhain, and I was lucky to have enjoyed this beautiful expression twice. Slainte, Shai, and thanks!

Photo Credit: scotchwhiskyauctions.com

Photo Credit: scotchwhiskyauctions.com

Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2010 Limited Edition, 18 Years Old Pedro Ximénez finish, Bottle 162/384 (51.4% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Bronze with slow, thin legs.

Nose: Cereal, sherry, dried fruit, prunes, spice cake, raisins, sweet red wine and cooked cinnamon. The PX is very much present on the nose here.

Palate: Sweet spices with pepper on the tongue, with sweet wine-y notes.

Linger: Sweetness then spice dominates the back of the throat, while tartness takes over the sides of the tongue. Long linger.

Conclusion

This is a lovely Feis Ile limited edition, in a much smaller batch than the 16 Year Old Manzanilla Sherry finish I reviewed here. Obviously, it’s sweeter than both the regular expressions and the Manzanilla finished expression, and is all around a delight.