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.