Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by M&H. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
In the land of milk and honey, Gal Kalkshtein launched M&H Whisky Distillery in 2012 with the help of Dr. Jim Swan. The late Dr. Swan has helped many distillery startups in hot climates begin their single malt journeys, like Amrut in India, and Kavalan in Taiwan. M&H Whisky Distillery joins the ranks of distilleries inspired by Scotch, but doing so on their own terms.
M&H Whisky Distillery is located in the coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The climate in Tel Aviv ranges from a low of 49 to a high of 89 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Comparatively, Scotland stays much cooler year round, with temperatures ranging from 33 degrees to 63 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the difference in climates, it takes less time to age a single malt in Israel than it does Scotland.
The latest release from M&H Whisky Distillery is the Apex series, which showcases unique finishes. Across Israel, there are several wineries, and many of the grape varieties used are distinct to the locale. The distillery uses this to its advantage to mature its 100 percent malted barley whisky spirits. The Apex White Wine Cask uses chardonnay casks from Domaine du Castel.
The chardonnay casks are said to impart earthy and grassy flavors. Let’s find out for ourselves.
Tasting Notes: M&H Whisky Distillery Apex White Wine Cask
Vital Stats: 61.2% ABV, 122.4 proof. A non-chill filtered single malt made in Tel Aviv, Israel. Matured in ex-chardonnay casks. Both the whisky and the white wine meet kosher standards. 750ml $100.
Appearance: Deep gold/medium amber
Nose: At first sniff, it smells like chardonnay with a more potent ABV. Any wine drinker could accidentally mistake the whisky for wine. The whisky is very fruity, and it makes for a bright and refreshing dram. Pear and crisp apple start us off, but then it transitions to mango. Towards the end there is a heavy vanilla fondant aroma mixed with jasmine; this could be off-putting, but overall the nose is inviting.
Palate: The palate is assaulted with a lot of bold flavors at once that are unbalanced. For example, it is like eating a snickerdoodle cookie with sugar snap peas, and soap. The mouthfeel is soft, but it burns from the ABV and cinnamon spice. Mango and honey give off a tropical taste. Plantain appears in the middle. The finish is full of grain, and green pea lingers on the aftertaste. However, it sort of drinks like rum.
First off, I love the nose on the M&H Distillery Apex White Wine Cask single malt. However, the palate just did not come together for me. It was jumbled between earthy and grassy, and fruity and floral. I would have given it a higher score had the whisky not tasted like soap and green peas.
User Review3.67 (3 votes)
Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...