Two months ago I reviewed the very first single malt aged 3 yo released by the GH distillery, Located in Katzrin (Israel). That one was aged in ex-wine casks, which gave it a very wine-y profile, and for the second offering in the single cask releases , David Zibell , distillery owner has chosen a different path, using a cask previously used to their two grain whisky – the Golani Black (distilled from malted barley and wheat), the cask initially started its life as a charred fresh american oak , so this is basically similar to ex-bourbon first fill cask, when you come to think of it.
David has also chosen to bottle this cask in two different versions : 40 bottles at natural cask strength of 62.1% (480 NIS / $138) , and 295 bottles at 46% (380 NIS / $109), as this is a very limited offering, I guess even at those prices, it will sell out quite fast. The whisky was bottled only two days ago (1.1.2018), so it’s quite new. The whisky was distilled in Jan 2015 and bottled 2018. Angel’s share for the cask is 19%… Let’s see how this different cask affected the liquid.
Golan Heights Distillery 3 yo Single malt cask #10 , 62.1% , 480 NIS / $138
Nose: Quite sweet and woody from the get-go, creamy vanilla, rose petals, mint and caramel candy. The wood aromas are very pronounced, and it’s clear that the ex-Golani cask was very active and greatly influenced the liquid. After some time aromas of musty warehouses are more evident, new wood and sawdust / coconut.
Palate: An avalanche of flavors awaits… the %abv is also a major factor. Lots of fresh ground black pepper and chili (hot and sweet), the body is oily and full. There’s a lot of Vanilla , and some notes of unripe bananas, and caramel candy alongside vanilla custard and spices (ginger powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove). Again, lots of wood, sawdust, sandalwood, quite surprising how much wood the liquid acquired after only a brief aging of 3 years..
Finish: Drying with wood, milk chocolate (infused with rum), spices and some Agave syrup.
This is indeed a bold whisky, distinct flavors and a full body. The active ex-Golani cask imparted a lot of wood notes, and spices onto the spirit, and IMHO the wood influence for once is too strong, and the whisky is somewhat unbalanced. A few drops of water might help tame this, but still, an enjoyable whisky, and a tad better than the previous wine cask. I would love to see how the whisky would turn out with a 2nd fill cask, and less wood influence (I know there are plans to release such a cask in the future). This is a very limited release hence the price, and as far as I know demand is quite high, so… market rules… I will keep an eye on future whiskies released by David.
The whiskies are available locally on the Distillery site