Spotlight on: Milk & Honey

  • Established in 2012, Milk & Honey is Israel’s first whisky distillery.
  • Based 1km from the beach in Tel Aviv, M&H is another example of Jim Swan’s [STR] legacy.
  • M&H’s production is based around Israel’s hot climate, its whisky designed to mature quickly.

 

Milk & Honey New Make Spirit [2018] 40%

Milk & Honey New Make Spirit [2018] Ob. 40% WB77[1]

  • N,T&F: The nose is only a little sweet, effortlessly light, clean and very soft.
  • C: Apparently, bottling at 50% abv proved rather harsh and didn’t show off the spirit’s qualities. Reducing down to 40% abv turned out far better for this unaged spirit.

[Not scored]

 

Milk & Honey 2016/2018 20 month old spirit Ob. Ex-bourbon cask #2016-0053 55% [50cl]

Milk & Honey 2016:2018 20 month old spirit Ob. bourbon cask #2016-0053 55% [50cl]

Especially bottled as demonstration purposes for TWE Show 2018, the exact fill & bottling dates were 01/11/2016 & 30/08/2018 respectively.

  • N: Funky, yeasty, fusty, malty and sawdust-y.
  • T: Creamy sawdust.
  • F: Coppery & tannic.
  • C: I can imagine this turning more mineral-y further down the line, and with some sherry cask sweetness thrown in, it could head Springbank-esque.

[Not scored]

 

Milk & Honey 2017/2018 8/9 month old spirit Ob. STR cask #2017-0357 55% [50cl]

Milk & Honey 2017:2018 8:9 month old spirit Ob. STR cask #2017-0357 55% [50cl]

  • N: Shares the same funky profile as the ex-bourbon spirit, and with the added sweet kookiness from the red wine casks, it culminates into a creamy sweetness.
  • T: Sugary with a fruity butyric note.
  • F: Straight into fruit confectionary.
  • C: This is rather childish on its own, but remember, this is intended to be combined with a bigger percentage of other [mainly bourbon] casks.

[Not scored]

 

Milk & Honey 2017:2018 Ex-Islay 10 month old spirit Ob. cask #2017-0286 55% [50cl]

Milk & Honey 2017/2018 Ex-Islay 10 month old spirit Ob. cask #2017-0286 55% [50cl]

  • N: This works of the nose, as peat with young spirit often does – a la Annandale[Blog].
  • T: Dirty mineral tones meld nicely with M&H’s soft and light spirit.
  • F: The forgiving peat helps the spirit all the way.
  • C: Likeable for sure.

[Not scored]

 

Milk & Honey [06/02/2018] 5 month old spirit Ob. Triple Cask [06/02/18] Ob. [btl #293/1451] 46% [50cl] WB82[7]

Milk & Honey Triple Cask 5 month old spirit [06:02:18] Ob. [btl #293:1451] 46% [50cl]

The makeup consists of: 2/3rds ex-bourbon, nearly a third of ex-red wine [STR], and a brief ex-Islay finish.

  • N: A funky sweet creamy nose, not dissimilar to early production from Strathearn, Cotswold or Yorkshire distilleries for example.
  • T: Delivers a sugary, woody, milky concoction.
  • F: The use of ex-Islay casks only really shows at the tail, [unofficially an Ardbeg cask don’t you know].
  • C: Only five months, wow!

[Not scored]

 

Milk & Honey 2014/2017 Ob. Experimental Series cask #2014-0001 [btl #16/391] 46% [50cl] WB91.56[11]

Milk & Honey 2014:2017 Ob. Experimental Series cask #2014-0001 [btl #16:391] 46% [50cl]

Distributed through Maverick Drinks, this was poured from bottle #16 of M&H’s inaugural release – all from STR casks. The first 100 bottles were auctioned off at whiskyauctioneer.com in August 2018, and went for an average price of £500.

  • N: This has really come together rather well.
  • T: Expectedly cask-resinous and pleasingly malty<sweet.
  • F: Sponge icing and vanilla cake, so it’s Mr Kipling’s French Fancies all the way. The wine influence holds off till the last.
  • C: It’s as you’d expect for a whisky of its age, location & design.

Scores 78 points

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With such a prescriptive remit presently, it will be interesting to see how M&H can/will improve. We could witness another Amrut-style evolution in the future.

 

Further reading:

 

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Milk and Honey flight

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