As the demand for whiskey rises, new distilleries are beginning to spring up throughout the globe, each adding something distinctive to the global whisky stage. These distilleries are pushing the boundaries of their innovation and ingenuity because demand appears to be steady. Additionally, these new distilleries are opening up shop in nations without strict regulations or governing bodies to control what is considered whisky, despite the fact that Scotland and the United States have established rules with governing bodies on what can be considered Scotch whisky and American Bourbon. While there are some drawbacks to this, for the most part we have only seen unrestrained experimentation that has resulted in some incredible whiskies being made in often isolated regions of the world.
The region we are exploring in this article is Israel. Israel is not a traditional whisky-producing country, but there are a few Israeli distilleries that produce whisky. These distilleries typically use imported malt and grains, which they distill and age in oak barrels to create their whiskies.
Israeli whisky is unique in a number of ways. One of the main ways in which Israeli whisky is unique is that it is produced in a region of the world that is not traditionally associated with whisky production. Israel has a hot, dry climate, which can have an impact on the flavor and character of the whisky produced there.
Another way in which Israeli whisky is unique is that it is often produced using traditional distillation methods and techniques, such as those used in Scotland, the birthplace of whisky. Many Israeli distilleries, such as the Milk & Honey Distillery, use imported malt and grains and employ traditional distillation techniques to produce their whiskies.
Additionally, Israeli whisky is often made using local ingredients and flavors, which can give it a distinctive character and taste. For example, the Golan Heights Distillery is known for incorporating local ingredients and flavors into its spirits, such as juniper berries that are grown in the Golan Heights region.
Overall, Israeli whisky is unique in that it combines traditional whisky-making techniques with local ingredients and flavors to create a distinctive and unique product that reflects the character and culture of Israel.
Remember, Israeli whisky is a relatively new and emerging category, and these distilleries are working to establish a reputation for producing high-quality, distinctive whiskies that reflect the unique character of Israel.
The climate in which a whisky is aged can affect the flavor and character of the final product. In general, the temperature and humidity of the aging environment can influence the rate at which the whisky absorbs and releases flavors from the oak barrels in which it is aged.
In Israel, the climate is generally hot and dry, with high temperatures and low humidity throughout much of the year. This type of climate can accelerate the aging process of whisky, causing it to mature more quickly than it would in a cooler and more humid climate.
As a result, Israeli distilleries that produce whisky may need to age their whiskies for shorter periods of time in order to achieve the desired flavor profile. This can be accomplished by using smaller barrels or by using barrels that have been previously used to age other spirits, as these barrels will have absorbed more of the oak's flavors and will therefore impart those flavors more quickly to the whisky.
Overall, the climate in Israel can have an impact on the flavor and character of the whisky produced there, but it is just one of many factors that contribute to the final product. The type of malt and grains used, the distillation process, and the type and age of the oak barrels all play a role in determining the final flavor and character of a whisky.
- Golan Heights Distillery
- Milk & Honey (M&H) Distillery
- Legends Distillery
- Pelter Distillery
- Yerushalmi Distillery
Golan Heights Distillery
The Golan Heights Distillery is a distillery located in the Golan Heights region of Israel. It was founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneur and whisky enthusiast David Zibell, and it is the first distillery in Israel to produce single malt whisky.
The Golan Heights Distillery uses imported malt and grains to produce its whisky, which it distills and ages in oak barrels. The distillery produces a variety of whiskies, including a single malt that is aged for three years in ex-bourbon barrels and a peated single malt that is aged for four years in ex-bourbon barrels.
In addition to its whisky, the Golan Heights Distillery also produces other spirits, including gin, vodka, and brandy. The distillery is known for using traditional distillation techniques and for incorporating local ingredients and flavors into its spirits.
The Golan Heights Distillery has received numerous accolades for its whiskies, including a gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards and a bronze medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. It is considered one of the leading whisky producers in Israel and has helped to establish the country as a new and emerging region for whisky production.
Visit the Golan Heights Distillery website.
Milk & Honey (M&H) Distillery
Milk & Honey Distillery is a distillery located in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was founded in 2013 by Israeli whisky enthusiast and entrepreneur Gal Kalkshtein, and it is the first and oldest distillery in Israel.
Milk & Honey Distillery is known for producing high-quality single malt whiskies using traditional Scottish distillation methods. The distillery uses imported malt and grains to produce its whiskies, which it distills and ages in oak barrels.
The distillery produces a variety of whiskies, including a three-year-old single malt that is aged in ex-bourbon barrels and a four-year-old peated single malt that is aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Milk & Honey Distillery is also known for experimenting with different aging techniques and barrel types, including the use of different types of oak and the use of barrels that have previously been used to age other spirits.
Milk & Honey Distillery has gained a reputation for producing high-quality, distinctive whiskies that reflect the unique character of Israel. Its whiskies have received numerous accolades, including a gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards and a bronze medal at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.
Visit the Milk & Honey website.
In Israel's Elah Valley, where David fought the mythical Goliath, is where Legends Distillery is located. We are producing the first American-style whiskey from this biblical region using a special recipe that concentrates on tiny, domestically grown grains and our meticulous maturing and mellowing process. This exquisitely smooth and well-balanced product is highlighted by its deep amber hue and velvety texture. Its rich, deep flavor will take you back in time, and its earthy overtones will give your palate a warm, lingering finish you won't soon forget.
Visit the Legends Distillery website.
One of the first whisky operations in Israel, The Pelter Distillery is a boutique business. It stays devoted to top-notch local raw materials and serves as a link between historical traditions in alcohol distillation and the contemporary interpretations and innovations we use. The manufacture of alcohol has changed, while still honoring time-honored customs. Yossi Boznah and Tal Chotiner, both professionals in the field of alcohol, work with the company, which was founded in 2013 by Tal and Nir Pelter.
It all started on a date. Palm dates were sent to Tal and Nir from the Arava in southern Israel. They decided to try distilling this raw material after becoming curious about it. They contacted Tal Chotiner and Yossi Boznah to get their perspectives after receiving a special and excellent outcome. An instant relationship was the inevitable result. Nir and Tal immediately departed for France to look for a distillery. They discovered the ideal fit in a distillery that has been producing cognac for France's top cognac brands for 45 years. The distillery has the appearance and functionality of a magic lantern. It is fashioned like a globus to retain the scents and tastes of the raw ingredients. The spherical shape and relatively short neck of the vessel enhance the texture and aroma of the contents being distilled. The tastes of the components are greatly improved when using a traditional condensation technique called "worm tube" in Scotland because of the quick condensation that assures flavor retention. Distillation is a small-scale, manual technique that perfectly fits the Pelter manufacturing process.
Visit the Pelter Distillery website.
A family of fine spirits connoisseurs from the Israeli Golan Heights joined together to create the best whiskey they could at their artisanal distillery. Four different oaks are used to mature their distilled whiskies. They have mastered the art of creating excellent whiskey by utilizing both domestic and foreign grains, spring and well water, and cutting-edge barrels chosen by their master distiller. Yerushalemi Distillery is the name of this little distillery. The distillery makes bocha, three varieties of rum, Yerushalmi gin, and two types of peated single malt whiskies with varying amounts of smoking. Between Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem, on the moshav Zano'ah, is where the distillery is situated. The distillery team is comprised of David Zibel, Nitai Morgenstern, and Amir Lev.