INTERNATIONAL - One appropriately named distillery is trying to turn Israel into a whiskey powerhouse.
Smooth, honey-brown whiskey is not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Israel.
But at the Milk and Honey Distillery, rows of casks proudly stamped “Tel Aviv” hold litres of it.
The country’s first whiskey distillery is preparing to release Israel’s first single malt whiskey.
“It’s a young whiskey,” said Eitan Attir, the distillery’s chief executive, who says that the brew is aged for three years and two months in virgin oak and old bourbon barrels at the company’s renovated former bakery in a rugged industrial area of south Tel Aviv.
“It’s complex for its age,” he said. “The taste feels like more than three years, more like seven or eight and again the story is much more important in this case. This is the first ever single malt whiskey that any distillery has released from Israel.”
Milk and Honey was founded in 2013. One hundred bottles from their first cask of Single Malt were set to be sold at an online auction that was starting last Friday.
Whiskey is universally acceptable for religious Jews to consume, Attir says, and Milk and Honey’s is “ultra-kosher.”
“We don’t work on Saturday, we don’t work on Yom Kippur or Passover,” he said. “And we want to symbolise our being Jewish or Israeli.”