A Whisky Visit… To the Holy Land!

Few months ago, Marc Pendlebury, being no other than WhsikyBrother.com from South Africa, twitted Gal and myself that he is to visit Israel during July on a family vacation. It was very obvious right then that we three are going to meet somehow and share a dram or two during his stay to the Holy Land.

And so, after some emails and tweets , it was agreed that on his first Shabbat here (Saturday), Marc will be coming over to my place for lunch as well as Gal and his family.

The set Saturday came, and as soon as I finished putting the beef shoulder roast I promised in the oven, making a salad, setting the table and opening a bottle of wine to breath, I left my wife Meital in charge of the rest of the preparations and drove to Jerusalem to bring Marc over (I live in a town 25 minutes away from Jerusalem).

I made sure to drive back via the ‘non-touristic’ road and thus allowed Marc a glimpse at some of the beautiful sights of the Samaria mountains.

The Granov family arrived few minutes after we got in, few minutes that allowed me already to pour Marc a small dram of the ‘Spirit of Unity’ and allowed him to take a long dive into my whisky cabinet.

Gal, Marc and myself (Shai)

I’ll skip lunch itself, and only mention that except that above mentioned-first time made by me-roast (which turned out very well), the menu also included stuffed vine leaves, mini-potatoes, humus, home-made tahini, rice, fresh-cut vegetables, Avidan winery Grenache-Mourvedre 2007 (really good wine and winery) and for dessert a really awesome chocolate-cheese cake made by Nurit, Gal’s wife. Oh yeah, it also included a good conversation and some good laughs originated by Gal’s cute kids (a particular funny bit was when baby Carmel stood next to the television in spite being forbidden by her mom, and when was asked “do you want mommy to come over?”, after being told off few times, she had put on a huge smile and said “YES”).


After we finished lunch, it was time for that dram or two, or nine as it happened to be. The ladies moved to the more comfortable lounge, I took out some fresh Glencairns and we were just about to start pouring some whiskies, when Marc went over to his backpack and took out two metallic cylinders. One was Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky he gave Gal as a gift, and the other was Three Ships 10YO he gave me as a gift. We thank Marc again for these very generous gifts!

Though I’m not for the habit of twitting everything you eat/drink AS you do it, it’s a good thing Gal and Marc actually did so, as that is the only way I now recall what we had.

And here it goes:

Also thankfully, Gal took photos of almost everything so you can also enjoy them here 🙂


The last dram we had was Deanston Virgin Oak which was enjoyed with a ‘Romeo Y Julieta’ no.2 cigars on my porch (thanks Marc for the picture!).


Gal and I told Marc of this little experiment we’re doing with finishing Laphroaig CS batch.003 with Israeli wine oak chips (from an Israeli wine school named Soreq) and also gave him a sample of the first finished bottle. More extended post about this will come in the near future so keep tuned.

Before parting, Marc asked if we would like to meet again the following Saturday night, and was promptly answered ‘but of course’. And so it was, however this time only us lads met at a wine/alcohol store/bar in Tel Aviv named Bin281 owned by a friend of mine (post to come).

As Gal was on medication he couldn’t drink, but Marc and I enjoyed the ‘Happy Hour’ sale of 1+1. Marc tried the Royal Lochnagar 12YO and the Glenfiddich 14YO Rich Oak. I tried the Rich Oak as well and the amazing Glenmorangie Burgundy wood finish.


We had a blast meeting with Marc on both occasions and had a great time together. Marc was kind to invite us both to South Africa, and I’m sure we’ll go there sometime in the far future.

I thank both Marc and Gal for their great company and sharing drams with me. It’s always more fun having a whisky with someone who loves it and appreciates it as much as you do.

So here’s raising a glass to good friends, whisky friends and whisky lovers all over the world!

Thanks for reading!



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5 thoughts on “A Whisky Visit… To the Holy Land!

  1. It was great to meet you both in person and share many wonderful drams, I sincerely thank you for your hospitality. Look forward to hosting you when you come to South Africa.

    The magic of social-media: turning digital friends into real ones. Slainte! 🙂

    1. Same here Marc.
      It was indeed a treat to have met you finally in the flesh!
      Social media is indeed magical. I’ve met a lot of very intresting people online then offline.
      Thank you for the SA whisky. I’m enjoying it quite a bit!

      See you soon, in j-bourg

  2. I have plans to visit Israel next year. I met my wife in Israel in 1976 in Kfar Blum.
    This post really inspired me even more.

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