Dec 262018
 

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:

  1. 450 one ton mashes a year, fermented in one of four stainless steel washbacks for 60-72 hours;
  2. Which is distilled to low wines in a 9000 litre wash still;
  3. And passed through a second distillation in a 3500 litre spirit still;
  4. 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%.

Photo Credit: Milk and Honey PR

‘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.

Conclusion

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.

 

 

Jun 172016
 

My personal affinity for Glen Garioch whisky is no secret. I like that almost everything coming out of the distillery is age stated (there are only two exceptions – the 1797 Founder’s Reserve, which is for some reason not age stated, but not priced significantly lower than the 12 year old (reviewed here) and the Virgin Oak). I also like that the distillery bottles either at 48% or at cask strength and that the whisky is non chill filtered. I’m not really sure why E150 wasn’t removed as well. The distillery has an interesting system in which a bare bones core range is kept, consisting only of the 1797 Founder’s Reserve and the 12 Year Old. That’s it. With it, though, you’ll find a rather extensive array of vintage bottlings offered at cask strength (currently including bottles from 1978, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, the herein reviewed 1998 Wine Cask Matured and the gorgeous 1999 Sherry Cask Matured.  Additionally, a new 15 year old Sherry Cask Matured expression appeared in duty free shops (beautiful stuff, reviewed here), and there’s the 15 year old Renaissance, to which three sequels were to appear. So far, only the first of the quartet has so far been released (reviewed here).

Photo Credit: Nicked from somersetwhisky.com who nicked it from Whisky Mizuwari...

Photo Credit: Nicked from somersetwhisky.com who nicked it from Whisky Mizuwari…

I’d like to think that it’s Glen Garioch’s intrinsic quality and uniqueness (imparted by a rather short fermentation of 48 hours, very long lyne arms and one of the narrowest middle cuts in the industry, keeping only the spirit from 75% to 69%) that caused Morrison Bowmore Distillers to single Glen Garioch out for this geekily respectful treatment not afforded the other distilleries in their portfolio, Bowmore and Auchentoashan. But it could just as easily have been a decision to take this smaller distillery and keep it more of a boutique operation. Who knows… (Note to self: Rachel Barrie would have an answer to that). But Glen Garioch is a different story and since 2009, when the lineup was revamped and the old core range of the NAS ‘Highland Tradition’ and ‘Archive’ and the very traditional 10, 15 and 21 year old were scrapped, the unique 48% ABV standard strength was introduced together with the small core and vintage releases regime. Admittedly, new releases are coming forth rather slowly and the second installment of the Renaissance is almost a year overdue now, but in terms of quality to hype ratio – these guys are doing something right.

Photo Credit: whiskyonline-shop.com

Photo Credit: whiskyonline-shop.com

Glen Garioch 15 Year Old 1998 Wine Cask Matured (48%)

Appearance: Bronze, sturdy necklace peeling off thin legs that move down really slowly.

Nose: Cherry liqueur filled chocolate praline, malt, old spices and orange peel. Heather honey and spiciness appear as the dram breathes, with a dryness to it. Milk chocolate, just the plain Cadbury, keeps coming round and fading out. A couple of drops of water will bring out some apricot.

Palate: First the wine imparts sweetness, than a wave of spiciness – with ground black and white pepper – and a tannic dryness. The different waves are very distinct here, with the liquid returning to being predominantly sweet as you hold it on your tongue. It has a nice body and presence.

Linger: Long and dry, with an almost veiled hint of sourness. It leaves the mouth with the signature Garioch chalky dryness.

Conclusion

Clearly a Glen Garioch, it has a lot of character all to its own. This is a dram you’ll be loath to drain out of your glass, if only so you can continue nosing it. It’s also one of the more expensive releases in the 15 year old range, so not a daily dram, but unique enough to still remain within the VFM range, albeit at its higher end.