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Milk & Honey Elements Red Wine Cask

Milk & Honey Elements Red Wine Cask


This whisky was featured on Day 7 of our 2022 KWM Whisky Calendar. You can read about it here

50ml / Mini bottles can be found here

Part of the Milk & Honey Distillery's Elements Range, this single malt was matured in ex-Bourbon before finishing in ex-Red Wine Casks (STR Casks).

Producer Description: "Ex-red wine casks that were sourced from Israel's finest wineries were picked for this part of the Elements trilogy. The Mediterranean’s climate, variety of soil types, hot sunny days and cool nights bring a spicy and unique flavor to Israeli wine – and in turn, our casks. The wine casks used in the Elements Red Wine are a celebration of local terroir, curating a floral single malt with notes of raisins."

750ml ml

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Region:Israel > World
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Evan’s Tasting Note

Nose: Oak shavings up front along with shelled pistachio nuts, tonic water, raisins, cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas.

Palate: A nice burst of flavour right on the front of the tongue. Spicy, juicy and oak-driven all at once with barrel char notes along for the ride. Plums, raisins, and strawberries as well. Plus, a smokey and slightly spicy yet sweet shrimp cocktail sauce with a dash of horseradish, of all things…

Finish: Fruity and drying from the barrel char notes. The fruit notes cooling but hot at the same time touch of horseradish sticks around for me.

Comment: The combination of sweet and savoury on this one is a lot of fun in my opinion, and not at all what I was expecting. Could this be a red wine cask whisky for those who don’t like red wine cask-finished whiskies? The blind ambush tasting that I subjected Curt to makes me think so…

Producer Tasting Note

Aroma: Red dried fruits, ginger, oak, and delicate coconut bouquet lead a gentle mineral perfume.

Palate: Light bodied. Wine flavors coat the mouth, accompanied by subtle oak and vanilla notes, followed by gentle floral blossoms. 

Finish: Medium. The dried fruits and wine linger, finishing with a touch of dark raisins.

The following was written by Andrew Ferguson and was published in Celtic Life Magazine in February of 2021!

Tel Aviv might seem like a curious place for a whisky distillery, but it is home to Israel’s first: Milk & Honey.

The urban distillery was built on the site of an old bakery in Jaffa. Before settling on the site, more than 30 locations around the country were considered. The capital of Tel Aviv was ultimately selected, owing to the city’s strong food scene, night life, and its appeal as a tourist destination.

The idea was first hatched by a group of young tech entrepreneurs with a shared love of whisky. The initial vision was for a small hobby distillery, focusing on Scottish-style single malts. However, as the potential of their idea dawned on them, the scope of the project continued to grow. By the time formal planning began in 2012 the vision was global.

In 2013, the late Dr. Jim Swan was brought in as an advisor. Dr. Swan famously consulted on many other start-up distilleries over the last two decades, including Kilchoman, Kavalan, and Cotswolds to name just a few. An expert in hot climate whisky maturation, he immediately saw the potential of making whisky in Israel. Tel Aviv’s humid climate would supercharge the spirit’s aging process.

Although the name Tel Aviv translates to “Hill of the Spring” in Hebrew, the city and Israel as a whole are not known for their abundance of fresh flowing water. Nor is the nation’s climate suitable for the growing of barley. But these obstacles were easily overcome; Milk & Honey’s malted barley is imported from England, and the water – though drawn from the city’s mains - is treated by reverse osmosis, before being optimized for fermentation with the addition of specific minerals and salts.

Milk & Honey employs a long fermentation and a slow distillation with a small and very precise middle cut. This ensures a spirit that is full of character, but also clean, without any rough edges. It is optimized for rapid maturation in a hot climate. Add to this a careful selection of casks (the final Jim Swan ingredient), and you have the potential for world-class whisky, even at a young age.

As with much of the global whisky industry, most of Milk & Honey’s production is filled into ex-bourbon barrels. About 20 per cent is filled into STR casks, Jim Swan’s bespoke shaved, toasted, and recharred ex-Portuguese wine barriques. Nearly 1500 casks are matured on site, with many more casks maturing in warehouses all over Israel. There are even casks maturing near the Dead Sea, the lowest and driest point on Earth where temperatures frequently hit and surpass 50C.

The distillery also produces gin, as well as an herbal liqueur. The Levantine Gin is produced from their own base spirit made from malted barley, and its botanicals are sourced from the famous Levinski Market - a short five-minute walk away. Those other spirits are not just a way of generating cash flow, they are also a way of telling a story that will help sell the whiskies when they reach maturity.

The distillery’s first ever whisky, distilled at a temporary location in 2014, was sold at auction in 2017. Production at Milk & Honey proper began in earnest midway through 2015, with its first commercially available whisky, Milk & Honey Classic - a 3-Year - first released in 2019. Other expressions will be rolled out in the months and years ahead. The distillery has recently launched the M&H Elements Range consisting of Sherry Cask, Peated, and Red Wine Cask whiskies.

The company’s whiskies were expected to be available in more than 20 countries by the end of 2020. The Milk & Honey Classic, Gin and Liqueur are currently available in Alberta, and parts of the United States. Wider distribution is expected over the course of the next few years.

Milk & Honey’s products are certified kosher - in fact, it is Israel’s largest kosher distillery. But the owners do not want to be thought of only as an Israeli or a kosher distillery, their vision is much bigger than that. The aim at Milk & Honey is to produce some of the finest whisky in the world. The fact that it's from the land of milk and honey is just part of the story.

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