08 September 2023
Milk & Honey
Nestled in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel, the Milk & Honey Distillery stands as a testament to the global expansion of whisky production. This distillery has emerged as a prominent player in the world of whisky, showcasing how a blend of history, technology, and terroir can yield exceptional results.
Founded in 2014, the Milk & Honey Distillery draws its name from the biblical reference to the "Land of Milk and Honey," which holds deep cultural significance in Israel.
What sets Milk & Honey apart is not just its location but its unique approach to whisky production. The Israeli climate is known for its extremes, with hot summers and mild winters. While this may not be the typical climate for whisky maturation, it provides an interesting challenge and opportunity for innovation. The distillery embraces these challenges and leverages them to create a distinct profile for their whiskies.
One of the key aspects of producing whisky at Milk & Honey is the influence of the climate. The hot Israeli summers accelerate the aging process, causing the spirit to interact more intensely with the wood in a shorter amount of time. This rapid aging results in a unique flavour profile, with a pronounced influence of oak and spices. But it doesn't end there. Milk & Honey mature whisky in five distinct regions:
- Upper Galilee: High humidity
- Jerusalem Mountains: Low temperature
- Tel Aviv: Varied
- Desert: High temperature, low humidity
- Dead Sea: Very hot and dry
Each region places its own imprint on the whisky, producing a unique style that can be blended with other regions to form a finished product. Additionally, the distillery uses a combination of various cask types, including bourbon, sherry, and red wine casks, allowing for a complexity of flavours that reflect the Israeli terroir.
Another innovative aspect of Milk & Honey's production process is their emphasis on local ingredients. The distillery sources its barley and water locally, showcasing the flavors of the region in each bottle. The purity of the water, drawn from the nearby Ein Hemed spring, is a crucial component of their whisky-making process.
Milk & Honey also places a strong focus on experimentation. They've released a range of innovative whiskies, including expressions finished in unique casks like red wine barrels from the Golan Heights and locally sourced fig wood barrels.
The distillery offers guided tours and tastings, providing visitors with an immersive whisky experience.
In conclusion, the Milk & Honey Distillery in Israel is a shining example of how passion, innovation, and a sense of place can create exceptional whisky. Their embrace of the Israeli climate, commitment to using local ingredients, and dedication to experimentation have resulted in a range of whiskies that not only defy expectations but also celebrate the unique terroir of the region. As Israel continues to make its mark on the global whisky stage, Milk & Honey stands as a proud representative of this exciting and dynamic whisky-producing nation.