This is the third Israeli single malt to come of age in recent months. This one comes from Pelter, a well established winery in the Golan Heights who have been doing some distilling on the side for some time. A few years ago they decided to make the distillery a part of the business and purchased an alembic still. Because they were already a well established business they ran their own pre-purchase program as opposed to using a crowdfunding platform.
Since the distillery has opened they’ve been quite busy making other spirits, gin, brandy and so on, most interestingly a brandy made from dates which is actually quite good. And finally after a long wait I got a call saying the whisky I’d ordered 3 years ago was ready and I could come to the big inaugural todo to pick it up.
This one was aged in first-fill bourbon casks as well as casks that held a Matar wine blend, the kosher label belonging to Pelter Winery, and was aged in a Syrian bunker built in the 1950’s, which can still be found in the region.
Aged 3 years. 46% ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
Nose: Starts off very aggressive and young, full of new make notes, sour porridge and yeast. This dies down after some glass time and lets some really nice character through. Tropical fruits. Guava. Dessicated coconut. Artificial strawberry flavouring. Currants. Slight cinnamon and sandalwood. Dry eucalyptus leaves. Licorice. Particle board.
Palate: Tropical fruit. White grape juice. Dry wood. Light honey. Maltesers. On the end some green herbs, mainly wintergreen.
Finish: Medium. Maltesers and wintergreen carry through.The herbal notes kind of fill in the space where the whisky was. Icing sugar. Honey. Cream cake.
Would I buy this: Yes (Price depending)
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
VFM: N/A (well truth be told I don’t remember exactly how much I paid as it was 3 years ago and it’s still not available on the retail market)
Pelter definitely took the safe route, releasing quite a tame spirit and opting to bottle at 46% and not cask strength. The maturation also reflects this with quite a lot of bourbon cask influence and just a little wine cask influence. This is a good thing as it shows that the guys behind this know what they’re doing and how to properly handle maturation.
The whisky does feel quite young and doesn’t have too many unique points about it, but is a decent sipper. The spirit shows potential and the fact that they have access to various wine casks means this could go in some interesting directions.