Is­rael, the land of milk and honey – and now of whiskey, too

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

IS­RAEL has been known as the land of milk and honey since Bib­li­cal times – but the land of sin­gle malt whiskey? One ap­pro­pri­ately named dis­tillery is try­ing to turn Is­rael into a whiskey pow­er­house.

Smooth, honey-brown whiskey is not the first thing that comes to mind when most peo­ple think of Is­rael.

But at the Milk and Honey Dis­tillery, rows of casks proudly stamped “Tel Aviv” hold litres of it.

The coun­try’s first whiskey dis­tillery is pre­par­ing to re­lease Is­rael’s first sin­gle malt whiskey.

“It’s a young whiskey,” said Ei­tan At­tir, the dis­tillery’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, who says that the brew is aged for three years and two months in vir­gin oak and old bour­bon bar­rels at the com­pany’s ren­o­vated for­mer bak­ery in a rugged in­dus­trial area of south Tel Aviv.

“It’s com­plex for its age,” he said. “The taste feels like more than three years, more like seven or eight and again the story is much more im­por­tant in this case. This is the first ever sin­gle malt whiskey that any dis­tillery has re­leased from Is­rael.”

Milk and Honey was founded in 2013. One hun­dred bot­tles from their first cask of Sin­gle Malt were set to be sold at an on­line auc­tion that was start­ing last Fri­day.

Whiskey is uni­ver­sally ac­cept­able for re­li­gious Jews to con­sume, At­tir says, and Milk and Honey’s is “ul­tra-kosher.”

“We don’t work on Sat­ur­day, we don’t work on Yom Kip­pur or Passover,” he said. “And we want to sym­bol­ise our be­ing Jewish or Is­raeli.”

PHOTO: REUTERS

Work­ers of the Milk & Honey dis­tillery where they pro­duce what they call the first Is­raeli-made sin­gle malt whiskey and a kosher one at that, in Tel Aviv, Is­rael.

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