Israeli distillery Milk & Honey continues to churn out unique and innovative single malts. Case in point: a pair of recent arrivals on the Drinkhacker review desk. One is from the Elements Series, several of which we’ve covered in the past, and another is from a new line of rare releases dubbed Art & Craft. Per Milk & Honey, the latter lineup is comprised of some of the distillery’s “most intriguing” casks selected for their exceptional quality and sporting unique beer finishes. Let’s check them out.
M&H Art & Craft DoppelBock Beer Cask – This release has been fully aged in special DoppelBock beer casks from Israel’s HaAretz Brewery with one of the casks in the mix spending an entire year of its maturation aging at the distillery’s warehouse near the blazing hot Dead Sea. It’s dry on the nose with lots of earthy malt, warm honey wheat bread, and fresh oak. As things open up, a hoppy lemon note arrives, alongside pastry cream, toffee pudding, and furniture polish. The palate is punchy, almost volatile, with white pepper and whole spices. The heat eventually levels off to a manageable chili pepper warmth but remains a bit of a distraction. It’s an oily single malt with notes of sour apple, orange peel, and butterscotch candies. At cask strength, pronounced lemon and spearmint notes become almost astringent, but the experience is rescued by a quick transition to chewy malts and honeycomb on the finish. 116.6 proof. B / $120
M&H Elements Series Pomegranate Wine Cask – This expression of Milk & Honey single malt spent time in one of the distillery’s unique signature cask types, a fortified style pomegranate wine cask (not to be confused with the Apex cask strength release). It’s unclear exactly how long the finish lasted, but it was long enough to leave its mark. The aroma is lush and sweet with mildly tart red fruits, berry compote, and Honey Grahams. A buttery shortbread component develops as it opens, with more ripe strawberry and guava notes in hot pursuit. The palate is exceedingly approachable and generously malty. Top notes of tart red fruit, baking spice, and chocolate become more vinous across the palate while an undercurrent of biscuity malt helps to balance some of the sweetness. The finish is a bit muddled with all of those competing flavors still trying to find some balance, but it’s nevertheless an engaging and enjoyable dram. 92 proof. B+ / $70