David Zibell over at the Golan Heights Distillery here in Israel has been quite busy with all kinds of interesting things, notably a 2nd Single Malt release, a brandy and this little gem. I was a little apprehensive at first, but heard from a few people that it’s extremely interesting.
What we have here is a whisky distilled from a beer made from chickpeas. The Meadan Brewery, also located in the North of our country (albeit a bit less than the Golan) has been making some very interesting beers, mainly from dates, as a gluten free/kosher for passover alternative to malt. One of their products is a sour ale made from chickpeas.
Some of this was then distilled into a whisky which was aged for 2 years in a barrel which previously held Golan Heights Distillery’s Golani Black whisky, a wheat and barley blend matured in charred new oak.
This is a good example of what craft distilling is all about, trying these weird and unique combinations, and this one has a really local flair to it.
Aged 2 years. 50% ABV. Matured in ex-Golani Black whisky casks. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from a single cask.
Nose: Orange cough syrup. Wet corks. Hops, very prominent, like an uber-hopped IPA. Ozone. Some very interesting spice notes, the most prominent and only one I could identity is of cinnamon flavouring. There’s an underlying woody vanilla note that’s very sublime and just ties everything together.
Palate: Sweet woody notes, light maple syrup, caramel rounds. Ale-like malty sweetness, more hops. Orange peel. Loads of spice, cinnamon and paprika. Slight herbal note on the end. With water it becomes very dry and the spices become a little more pronounced. I found it took on a bit of a character that reminded me of Angostura Bitters.
Finish: Long, very warming. Quite a soft sweet wood character. Lemon barley cake.The hoppy bitterness kind of flairs up here. Quite a drying woody linger to it.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
It might be a bit weird for some, but this was a super interesting dram and I really liked it. The mixture of sweet and bitter was quite a ride. The dichotomy between the two was quite nicely pulled together by some of the other notes. I kind of feel like this is what Glenfiddich’s IPA cask experiment was supposed to have been. Man am I going to enjoy the hell out of this bottle.