In honour of our independence day I figured I’d review something local. Golani is a two grain whisky made from wheat and barley, matured for under a year in New American Oak, Cabernet Oak and Chardonnay Oak casks. Interestingly it’s also made with a sour mash, usually more common in American whiskey production. The casks are sourced from the nearby Golan Heights Winery
This comes from the Golan Heights Distillery, one of several new distilleries opening up here. Each one has a somewhat different niche and this one is very much a craft distillery. In my opinion the more the merrier, hopefully we can someday get enough distilleries going to have a bit of whisky tourism going and it’s always nice to have some good local stuff available without paying import taxes.
After a crowdfunding campaign this distillery was opened in the stunning Golan Heights region and began to produce a number of spirits aside from whisky (the single malts still have a while to mature, I have one reserved) including gin, arak (a local firewater usually made from grape spirit and anise) and an absolutely fantastic, all-natural Absinthe.
NAS (aged up to one year). 40%ABV. Wheat and barley sour mash. Matured in New American Oak, Cabernet Oak and Chardonnay Oak casks.
Nose: New make. This is quite young, so expected. Doesn’t fade away altogether with some glass time, but it gets gentler. Apple cider. Grape flavour. Bit of a sweet herbal note. Fennel and such. Bit of a floral note. If I hold this a little further away from my nose there’s a really nice spice note, barely noticeable, but very very nice.
Palate: Grainy. Grapey. Bit of a grainy edge but nothing offensive. Bit of honey. Bitter wood and woodspice on the swallow.
Finish: Short: Hot apple cider with raisins and spice. Lingering grain and bitter wood notes.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Maybe (I have yet to find this in a bar)
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This is a very young whisky, and as long as you know what that means going in, it’s quite enjoyable. Quite gentle for something so young, just wish some of the nicer notes in here were a bit more dominant or more developed, but that takes time. Hopefully with some age that will happen.
I prefer this over some similarly priced imported blends and I’m really looking forward to trying the more aged stuff once it’s available.