Tag Archives: Golan Heights Distillery

Golani ‘Out of the blue’ by Mashing

An independent Golan Heights Distllery whisky. Didn’t think it will happen anytime soon, but there it is – the first indie Golani is out there by a Mashing, a new independent bottler (disclosure: I know one of the founders and we’re in the same whisky groups and circles).

This 3 Year Old two grains Golani (3 years and 10 months so almost 4 Year Old), is their first release and also the first one in a planned experiment cask series. How experimental is this whisky? Take a deep breath:

It started out its life in a high-end Cabernet Sauvignon red wine case from Golan Height Winery. After 3 years it was finished for 10 months in a 110 liter cask nicknamed “Unicorn cask” that started as a Tchelet wine cask (a naturally fermented wine) from Tanya winery and was used once to age very lightly peated singe mat Golani whisky before being put to use here (so basically it’s a finish in a refill Unicorn cask).

Complex setup? Indeed it is. Was is worth it?

Golani ‘Out of the blue’ by Mashing (66.2%, Cask #25)

Nose: Powerful, red wine, here comes the Golani trademark of dirt and licorice, a wee touch of grain, marmalade, berries filled chocolate and tannins. After a few minutes, dried berries, espresso, chocolate (familiar notes from the previous usage of this unicorn cask), fresh berries of raspberry, cherries, gooseberry and cranberries, at this stage I barely notice the grain.

Palate: The unicorn cask is dominant here with very strong chocolate and espresso impact, dried berries, licorice, oak and mint freshness. Then it recedes to reveal more gentle oak spice, tannins, mint leftovers and drying sensation.

Finish: Long finish, not as powerful as on the Palate but lingering chocolate, espresso and dried berries.

Thoughts: This dram easily rocked up to the top 2 Golani I ever tasted (and the 2nd one was a single malt). It’s powerful, packing lots of favors – fruits, chocolate and espresso with a touch of Golani licorice and mint. It’s an excellent whisky, always a good sign to start a new business like that.


Golan Heights Distillery Golani Brandy Finish Review

Yesterday we celebrated our 70th Independence day and with such a round nice number our lively local whisky scene didn’t kept quiet. The Golan Heights Distillery released a special limited anniversary edition of their two grain whisky Golani that was finished in a Brandy cask.

The Golani spirit spent 2.5 years in red wine cask (like the regular Golani Vino) and then 50 liters were finished in a 50L cask which held Brandy (distilled at the distillery) for another 6 months. 70 bottles were released to the market bottled at 49.7%.

Golan Heights Distillery Golani Brandy Finish (49.7%, 250NIS/~€57)

Nose: Soft brandy influence, sweet grapes, red wine, then there’s the trademarked toffee and butterscotch of the distillery in the backseat and green apples. Continue reading

Golan Heights Distillery Golani Black Cask #24 (For Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2018) Review

Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2018 is happening right now and along the new Milk and Honey release there’s another new release – a new single cask offering from Golan Heights Distillery. It’s a new cask (number #24) of Golani Black (distilled mash of malted barley and wheat), matured for 37 months in a virgin American oak cask.

This time, there’s a real nice touch to the release – it’s a “bottle your own” offering as you actually fill the bottle from the cask during the show. Real cool thing!

Like with previous Golan Heights Distillery releases, it’s a non chill filtered whisky, natural colored and this cask was bottled at natural cask strength, a whopping 61.9% ABV.

Golan Heights Distillery Golani Black Cask #24 (For Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2018) (61.9%, 241NIS)

Nose: There’s lots of toffee and butterscotch (I shouldn’t be surprised with this note by now), mint, herbs, honey, orange peels and honeyed lemon tea. Continue reading

Trio of Golan Heights Golani (Two Grain) Whisky Review

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the 2nd single malt (and single cask) release from Golan Heights Distillery, the brainchild of David Zibell. However, the bread and butter of the distillery is Golani, the two grain (wheat and malted barley) sour mash whisky offering. Golani releases were used to be a one year whisky offering but recently the line up was revamped and now consists of three different Golani products, all carrying a 3 year old age tag:

  • Golani Black – matured for three years in new charred American
  • Golani Vino – matured in European oak Cabernet cask (from Golan Heights Winery)
  • Golani Double Wood – a vatting of part casks from the Black and Vino offerings

Let’s check them out!

Golan Heights Golani Black 3 Year Old Cask #18 (58.6%)

Nose: Sweet resin, pine needles and then a big bomb of liquorice. Haven’t felt that much liquorice since I last ate a liquorice candy, butterscotch, werther’s original candies, pencil shavings and a bit of glue. Continue reading

Golan Heights Distillery Cask #10 (Ex Golani-Black) Review

David Zibell of Golan Heights Distillery is bottling today the second single malt release, another three years old whisky, but unlike the first cask which was an ex-red wine cask, this time it’s an ex-Golani Black cask, a charred American Oak cask that previously held the distillery Golani Black whisky (two grain whisky) for a couple of months (so it’s almost an ex-bourbon cask).

Just like with the first release, there will be 40 bottles at natural cask strength of 62.1%, and 295 bottles bottled at 46%.

Golan Heights Distillery Cask #10 (Ex Golani-Black) (62.1%, 480NIS)

Nose: Velvety butterscotch, in fact – a lot of butterscotch! Wood logs (not wood spices but cut logs), toffee, dark bread. With water it opens up and is much more lively with herbs, menthol (just like the first cask) and gentle spices oak spices. Continue reading

A very early preview of a new Israeli distillery – Review of Golan Heights Distillery spirits

Almost two years ago there was a big earthquake here. Well, not a real physical earthquake as you may think but for the local alcohol and whisky scene it was an earthquake of magnitude 9 – the tax scheme on alcohol changed and with it, the doors for larger base of whisky and single malt whisky drinkers got opened wide.

And just like mushrooms after the rain, new web shops selling single malts were born, whisky clubs were founded and whatddoyouknow – a few distilleries were founded as well! Some are already working and some are still in newborn steps, going forward carried on the dreams of their founders.

One of those distilleries is the Golan Heights Distillery. The distillery, sitting in the northern part of Israel (just like another forthcoming distillery) is not in a dream state anymore as it’s already half way to real production. There are stills, equipment, barley, fresh water from a nearby spring, casks from the nearby big wine producer and even some trial whisky already being aged in casks.

david zibell Continue reading