M&H

M&H is the first Whisky distillery in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since 2015 it produces Single Malt Whisky in a German Pot Still. The letters in the name allude to "The land where milk and honey flow".

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Information about the Distillery
61 Bottles
Israel
34.763635 32.050838
Active
2012
Gal Kalkshtein
https://mh-distillery.com/
Average tasting notes Tasting notes
i
Nosing
Sweet:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Fruit:
Oak:
Oak:
Zitrus:
Vanilla:
Vanilla:
Zitrus:
Sherry:
Herbs:
Sherry:
Berries:
Berries:
Caramel:
Peat Smoke:
Caramel:
Herbs:
Spices:
Lemon:
Lemon:
Floral:
Floral:
Peat Smoke:
Spices:
Honey:
Honey:
Herb:
Herb:
Apple:
Chocolate:
Chocolate:
Apple:
Malt:
Malt:
Alcohol:
Mint:
Nuts:
Alcohol:
Mint:
Coffee:
Coffee:
Heather:
Clove:
Ginger:
Blackberry:
Heather:
Ginger:
Blackberry:
Clove:
Bonfire Smoke:
Bonfire Smoke:
Nuts:
Orange:
Cherry:
Strawberry:
Cherry:
Orange:
Strawberry:
Fig:
Tropical Fruit:
Tropical Fruit:
Fig:
Tobacco:
Tobacco:
Maritime Notes:
Dark Chocolate:
Cinnamon:
Peach:
Seaweed:
Oil:
Coconut:
Nutmeg:
Date:
Lime:
Lime:
Maritime Notes:
Coconut:
Peach:
Seaweed:
Nutmeg:
Dark Chocolate:
Oil:
Date:
Cinnamon:
Almonds:
Almonds:
Grape:
Green Apple:
Medicinal Smoke:
Plum:
Banana:
Raisin:
Hay:
Leather:
Pepper:
Chili:
Kiwi:
Raisin:
Grapefruit:
Banana:
Plum:
Hay:
Leather:
Pepper:
Grape:
Medicinal Smoke:
Green Apple:
Dried Fruit:
Chili:
Kiwi:
Grapefruit:
Pear:
Pear:
Dried Fruit:
Tasting
Sweet:
Sweet:
Fruit:
Sherry:
Fruit:
Oak:
Oak:
Sherry:
Spices:
Zitrus:
Zitrus:
Honey:
Honey:
Nuts:
Vanilla:
Vanilla:
Caramel:
Caramel:
Lemon:
Lemon:
Berries:
Berries:
Peat Smoke:
Malt:
Chocolate:
Chocolate:
Nuts:
Malt:
Herb:
Herb:
Peat Smoke:
Spices:
Herbs:
Dried Fruit:
Dried Fruit:
Pepper:
Pepper:
Ginger:
Ginger:
Herbs:
Dark Chocolate:
Dark Chocolate:
Fig:
Fig:
Oil:
Oil:
Cinnamon:
Cinnamon:
Orange:
Orange:
Chili:
Chili:
Nutmeg:
Grapefruit:
Nutmeg:
Grapefruit:
Cherry:
Coffee:
Heather:
Cherry:
Heather:
Coffee:
Maritime Notes:
Maritime Notes:
Tropical Fruit:
Strawberry:
Strawberry:
Tropical Fruit:
Seaweed:
Walnut:
Raisin:
Grape:
Apple:
Walnut:
Raisin:
Grape:
Seaweed:
Apple:
Cake:
Alcohol:
Hazelnut:
Pineapple:
Tobacco:
Pineapple:
Plum:
Cake:
Bonfire Smoke:
Plum:
Alcohol:
Bonfire Smoke:
Hazelnut:
Tobacco:
Lime:
Blackberry:
Lemon Peel:
Green Apple:
Date:
Green Apple:
Lemon Peel:
Clove:
Lime:
Date:
Salt:
Leather:
Barley:
Salt:
Clove:
Barley:
Leather:
Blackberry:
Finish
Oak:
Oak:
Sweet:
Sweet:
Spices:
Herb:
Herb:
Fruit:
Fruit:
Spices:
Sherry:
Dark Chocolate:
Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate:
Chocolate:
Peat Smoke:
Sherry:
Peat Smoke:
Zitrus:
Clove:
Clove:
Malt:
Tobacco:
Tobacco:
Zitrus:
Apple:
Apple:
Pepper:
Lemon:
Lemon:
Ginger:
Pepper:
Ginger:
Barley:
Herbs:
Malt:
Raisin:
Raisin:
Barley:
Tropical Fruit:
Vanilla:
Coffee:
Coffee:
Vanilla:
Tropical Fruit:
Honey:
Alcohol:
Chili:
Honey:
Cake:
Nuts:
Alcohol:
Herbs:
Cake:
Chili:
Nuts:
Heather:
Leather:
Mint:
Caramel:
Caramel:
Leather:
Mint:
Heather:
Pineapple:
Banana:
Cinnamon:
Fig:
Cherry:
Dried Fruit:
Dried Fruit:
Cinnamon:
Banana:
Fig:
Cherry:
Bonfire Smoke:
Oil:
Pineapple:
Bonfire Smoke:
Oil:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

The M&H Classic is one of the first Single Malt Whiskies from the first Whisky distillery in Tel Aviv. For the M&H Elements Series, which includes the Sherry Cask, the Peated and the Red Wine Cask, different casks were carefully selected to create different flavours. The basis is always the classic M&H Single Malt. This is complemented with Whisky that has been allowed to mature in a selection of hand-picked oak casks: a sherry cask from Jerez, a peated cask from the island of Islay and former red wine casks from one of the best wineries in Israel.

The Apex Series contain small batch bottlings of the Single Malt from the M&H distillery and are available in limited editions. For the M&H Apex Small Batch Cognac Cask Finish, for example, French Limousin oak casks were married with STR (shaved, toasted, recharred) casks. In addition, the whisky was matured in cognac casks.

The Gin

In addition to Whisky, the M&H distillery also produces Gin. The basis for the Levantine Gin is the same as for the Whisky. 100 percent pure malted barley is mashed on site and distilled in the pot stills. For the Gin, the distillery uses its New Make, which is distilled once up to 96% to meet the neutral alcohol requirement. For further use, however, this is diluted again.

Juniper and other botanicals, such as Origanum syriacum (Syrian oregano), lemon peel, orange, chamomile, verbena, cinnamon and black pepper, are specially purchased at the Levinsky market in Tel Aviv. The history of this traditional market in the centre of the Israeli city began over 100 years ago when Jewish immigrants from Greece opened the first shops in the neighbourhood. These are still passed down from generation to generation today. All the herbs and plants then macerate for 48 hours together with the neutral alcohol in a small mobile still with a capacity of 250 litres. This initially belonged to the head distiller Tomer Goren, who used it privately, but now makes it available to the distillery. For the Syrian Oregano, a mesh is spread over the pot. When the alcohol vapours rise during the subsequent distillation, they thus take on the flavour of this spice.

In addition to the Levantine Gin, the standard range includes an Oak Aged Levantine Gin, which is aged for several months in STR red wine casks, and a Peated Levantine Gin, matured in Scottish ex-islay casks.

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The Production

The M&H distillery hired the late Dr. Jim Swan, one of the most respected Master Distillers in the world, as a consultant. His experience with distilling in hot climates was very valuable for the Israeli distillery, which has to cope with exactly these Mediterranean weather conditions. 

The distillery sources its barley from England, Germany and the Czech Republic. The yeast comes from Belgium. The local water used must first be demineralised so as not to produce any bitter substances.

The Pot Stills

The distillery has two pot stills, a wash still with a capacity of 9,000 litres and a spirit still with 3,500 litres. The Whisky is double distilled in the custom-made traditional copper stills with a constriction and falling lyne-arm, and then matures in the barrel for at least three years.

The upper cutting point, which separates the foreshot, is at an alcohol content of around 80% vol, which is normal. The lower cutting point is already set at 70% vol. This is very early and thus the feints, which separate heavy substances, are very large.

These heavy substances would mature out over time in a temperate climate via reductive storage. However, the very warm climate in Israel does not allow such a long storage period.

The Mashing

The distillery mashes twice a day, five days a week, in batches of one ton each.

The stainless steel Mash Tun from M&H is very modern. The rakes in it work very slowly to get a clear wort. In this way, a sweet, fruity character is created.

The Fermentation

M&H has six washbacks, each with a capacity of 7,000 litres, which are filled with 6,000 litres. A cooling water jacket sits around the outside, keeping the temperature between 30 and 33 degrees.

The fermentation time is 48-96 hours (no work is done on the Sabbath), during which time the lactobacteria continue to work and bring other flavours. Basically, they go for a fruity flavour here.

The distillery is also experimenting with other fermentation times and temperatures, as well as with other yeasts.

The Warehouses

The Mediterranean climate in Israel, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, allows the Whisky to mature faster than in colder regions. For maturation, the distillery uses bourbon casks and reclaimed red wine casks, among others. For the M&H Elements Sherry Cask, even kosher sherry casks were used for the first time, which were specially soaked with Oloroso and PX sherry for the Israeli distillery in Jerez, Spain.

M&H owns warehouses directly at the distillery in Tel Aviv, where about 4,000 barrels are stored, as well as others at the Sea of Galilee, in the mountains around Jerusalem and at the Dead Sea.

Due to the hot climate, the Angel's share is quite high at 11 per cent and there is a lot of additive maturation. Therefore, the maturation period here is not much longer than the three years required in Scotland.

Storage at the Dead Sea is even more special. As it can get extremely hot here with up to 50°Celsius, the wood of the barrels works much harder. The Angel's Share is 25 per cent per year and there is a fast, strong maturation. In addition, the air pressure is much higher, as the Dead Sea is about minus 400 metres below sea level, which gives the Whisky yet another way to be stored.

The History

Gal Kalkshtein founded the M&H distillery in Tel Aviv in 2012. Head distiller Tomer Goren has been involved since the beginning. Production could begin after the construction phase in 2015.

As the M&H distillery was the first Israeli Whisky distillery, there were no regulations for the production of Whisky. However, the strict Scottish rules are adhered to.

The Visitor Centre

The distillery offers various guided tours and workshops by appointment. Private tours can also be booked online.

Visitor information

M&H Whisky Distillery
16 HaThiya St.
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Tel: +972-3-6320491
E-Mail: shop@remove-this.mh-distillery.com 

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