Golani Distillery Single Cask 36 – Chardonnay and Brandy (46%)

Once again David Zibell is venturing into uncharted territory, this time with peated malt and a double, yet very unconventional, maturation. This time we’re being treated to a maturation in a first filled Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay cask, that was received by Golani Distillery fresh and was not even washed out before being filled with the Golani single malt.

Photo Credit: Sheshet

Following 29 months in this fresh, and rather funky, Chardonnay cask, David moved the peated single malt into a cask my readers have already met before. This is the very same 50 litre ex brandy cask that held the 70th anniversary edition Golani released for Israel’s last independence day (and reviewed here). This is the result of the white wine and brandy wood maturation.

There have been five single malt cask releases so far: Cask 1 in Cabernet, Cask 10 in ex Golani Black, Cask 13 in ex Golani Black, Cask 16 in Cabernet and Cask 8 in the Port style T2. This expression brings several firsts, as this is the first peated single malt in the series of releases, as well as the first white wine cask and the first finish in the series. Three firsts in one bottle. Well done, David!

Unlike most casks, where the whisky is available both at cask strength and at 46%, this “baby cask”, as David calls it, is available only at 46%.

This is an older picture of a previous cask. This bottle looks the same, but obviously not cask 10.            Photo Credit: Arkadi Raskin

Golani Distillery 2015 Single Cask 36, Matured in First Fill Chardonnay Cask for 29 Months and Finished for 8 Months in a Second Fill Brandy Cask. Distilled November 2015, Bottled January 2019 (46% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Dark gold, pretty quick legs with quite a bit of residue left on the glass.

Nose: Boy, the nose on this one is elusive. It’s a bit farmy, with some very green notes, and a distant fire with coal dust. There’s some white grape juice (known in Israel as Tirosh), and a hint of apple peels.

Palate: Red apple and green grapes with a mild spiciness turn more and more spicy as you let it stay in the mouth. The peat comes through with a nice note of melon sorbet and some white and black pepper, and a touch of cardamom. The distillery mint is there, but I’m not sure at all that I would recognize it in a blind tasting.

Linger: Peat mingles with a very fresh fruitiness, and some spice lingering on the tongue. The gullet has a fizzy type of spice. The dryness holds the inside of the cheeks


The palate and finish are lovely. The nose is very guarded. This is definitely a very different animal than the four single casks we’ve seen so far. In a blind tasting, I’d probably put this one down as a Campbeltown whisky.

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