Distillery unveils Israel’s ‘first’ single malt whisky

May 26, 2017by Annie Hayes

Israel's Milk & Honey Distillery, which previously employed the late Dr Jim Swan as master distiller, has launched what is thought to be the country's first single malt whisky.

Based in Tel Aviv, The Milk and Honey Distillery was founded in 2012, and has announced the release of the expression - called Israel's First Single Malt Whisky – for late June. The whisky was created by Tomer Goren, Milk & Honey's head distiller, at his workshop workshop in a kibbutz in the Sharon region of Israel, before the distillery had been built. He began developing recipes and experimenting with different kinds of malt and yeast –distilling small batches with the late Dr Jim Swan – Milk & Honey's first master distiller and consultant. The distillates were initially matured in a warehouse in the kibbutz, aged in 225-liter American oak casks. After two and a half years, the liquid was transferred to the distillery's cask room in Tel Aviv for an additional months' maturation in ex-Bourbon barrels. With just 391 numbered bottles available, the whisky is part of The Milk & Honey Distillery's Experimental Series – set for global distribution in 2019. The expression is bottled at 46% and is said to be "mature and complex" thanks to the country's hot climate. Milk & Honey estimates that their liquid maturates two to two-and-a-half times quicker than Scotch whisky, and equates the new release to that of a Scottish single malt whisky aged between six and eight years. The distillery plans to experiment with maturation in other geothermic areas, such as mountains, the desert, and The Dead Sea – the 'lowest' place on earth. The initial sales of Israel's First Single Malt Whisky are slated to go on sale later in June.