Thanks to my buddy Foster for pouring this for me.
I’d love to be my normal fun-loving, dick-mentioning, awkward self for this review. I really would. But we’re reviewing whisky from a very political place.
Yes, you could point out I’ve reviewed whisky from places that have done shitty things to varying degrees (multiple US whiskies for example) and mentioned some of those shitty things, to some people’s annoyance. But I’ve also written about issues with how Ireland has been treated in the past. I missed calling out Canada for the sheer amount it fucked over indigenous communities. Guess I’ll have to on my next Canadian review.
The history of Israel, the cultural issues, and the sheer volume of things to think about when discussing the country and it’s current occupation of Palestinian land are more numerous than I could add to a whisky review. I’d do a poor job on it too. So that’s not an option, sadly. I’m not even sure if the way I wrote the last part does it enough justice or is too unfair.
I wonder if I should be drinking the whisky from the country in question. Again, that seems like a simplistic answer to a complicated question which can only be solved with understanding, knowledge, and a lot of other things the entire world needs at the moment. Things I hope I can help by voting and gaining more knowledge for the day to day discussions I have with people.
So I did try an Israeli whisky, Milk & Honey Young Single Malt – The Last One Batch 2, as friends had picked it up. I’m going to attempt to separate the country from the whisky. I’m sorry I’m not a better writer who could help explain the problems in the country, and leave it at that.
Milk & Honey Young Single Malt – The Last One Batch 2 is a bit of a confusing name: Milk & Honey has been working on a proper whisky for the past few years. While they were doing that, they released “Young Single Malt”, because it’s not old enough to be called a whisky yet and having a business not release a product for a few years is insane. You can make money from fans, people. They want to try whatever you have.
As they were getting ready to transition to actual whisky, they had a few Young Single Malt’s that were the last ones. I find it funny that they had something called “The Last One” followed by a batch number, but I also giggle when I read “postal service” and “jumbo shrimp” as I was raised reading Reader’s Digest.
So we have a less-than-3-year-old whisky that was aged in ex-red wine (STR) casks and ex-Bourbon casks. It’s not cask strength, it was obviously released to give people a taste of where they are at and raise money before the older whisky is ready.
Should you drink it? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: € 37 for a 500ml bottle (though some places are selling it at a much higher cost due to collectability because we can’t have nice things).
Bottled: May 5, 2019
Cask type: Ex-Red Wine (STR) & Ex-Bourbon
No of bottles: 4,000
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Char, generic adult sweet cereal that has honey and pretends it gives you energy, red fruit
Initial barrel char, there’s some cereal/honey notes that remind me of a specific adult cereal but then it loses it a bit and then I realize I stopped eating that cardboard “breakfast” awhile ago. So I said “generic” to cover myself.
Oh, and there’s some indistinct red fruit, probably from the red wine cask.
Taste: Char, red fruit, butter
Bit bitter from the cask, more red fruit, and a nice fatty/butter note. Not bad for under 3 years, though I’m guessing the warm climate helps there. Doesn’t really go beyond that.
Finish: Caramel, vanilla, red fruit
Sweet, some vanilla from the bourbon casks, and some more red fruit to round it out. Nothing too rough, but it’s short, probably due to the age.
Conclusion: Good start for a distillery, one I’d guess has lots of char or happens to enjoy using barrels that impart a lot of char. I don’t really know what the final product will be, given most of the notes I’d attribute to the barrel influence rather than blending, the spirit, or a distiller’s profile. As such I’ll have to try some more before I make up my mind on the distillery.
As for buying this specific bottle? I’d say if you are trying to support the distillery then that’s why you buy it, like a lot of whiskies brought out by younger distilleries. Perhaps try to find Batch 1 or 3 instead? Hard to say, but I’d try other whiskies from Milk & Honey before jumping into an auction on this one.
World Whisky review #440, Israel review #1, Whisky Network review #2310