Today is Israel’s independence day (only 65 years ago Israel was one of Britain’s colonies ,and all Israelis British citizens sort of ) and what more fitting than publish a tasting note of whisky distilled in Israel, by the Rosenblatt brothers.
The Rosenblatt brothers are two young alcohol fanatics who live and operate from Israel. They have a passion for everything related to spirits. They distil everything, and produce an amazing array of spirits from homemade beers using ancient recipes, to wine, rum, and liqueurs, all 100 per cent made in Israel from local ingredients. They use homemade equipment, a wee still they acquired and a lot of enthusiasm.
A few years ago, Nimrod the elder of the two decides it’s time to start and distil single malt whisky in Israel. Using a mix of two kinds of malted barley one already smoked over beech wood, the other smoked and peated using an their own equipment designed to suck peat smoke burning in one container into another container with the barley.
For yeast they used beer yeast as some whisky distilleries do, as whisky yeast is not common in Israel – for obvious reasons. Using their tiny still, they distilled the fermented barley twice (two runs as we usually call them : strip run and spirit run). The spirit was cut at 65% and then moved into small Carboys with wooden staves of American Oak and some French Oak chips.
The wee still used by the R. brothers
I was able to taste a wee sample of this 16 month old spirit , and I do think it shows great promise. We must bear in mind that these are initial steps in the process and there is a lot of learning ‘on the go’ that needs to be done. Currently the volumes are very small, and the spirit is not even matured in casks, but in carboys with oak staves inside. Nevertheless, this is a great step forward.
I will be keeping an eye on this operation, as well as on other initiatives to distill whisky which are now in the planning stages by other whisky enthusiast (and on a bigger scale) In Israel.
The first Israeli single Malt , 16 months old, 65% ABV
Nose: Bam! : big impact. It feels young kicking and alcoholic. Then sweet with vanilla toasted wood , candy grass and wee smoke too in addition to banana peel.
Palate: Sweet avalanche of flavours:lots of alcohol. Big bodied with Vanilla,apple & pear drops. Honey and golden syrup honeycomb and smoked banana sprinkled with pepper.
Finish: Sweet and fruity.
Lovely stuff even at this young age (not even officially ‘whisky’) showing a lot of promise. Good work, and sadly those are very small quantities, so not for sale at this stage (for all those asking).
Happy Independence day!