Two months ago, if you had asked me, "What do you think about M&H Distillery?" I would have had no clue what you were talking about. I'd never heard of them. Whisky? From Israel? I didn't know that was even a thing. And, yet here I am, two months later, and I'm penning my third review of one of its whiskies. This time it is the third entry in the M&H Elements series: Red Wine Cask.
For some background on both M&H and its Elements program, I'll direct you to my first review, Elements Peated. All of the M&H expressions begin with the same base Single Malt Whisky. What happens beyond that is where the real magic happens.
"Ex-red wine casks that were sourced from Israel's finest wineries were picked for this part of the Elements trilogy. The Mediterranean's climate, variety of soil types, hot sunny days and cool nights bring a spicy and unique flavor to Israeli wine - and in turn, our casks." - M&H Distillery
The wood used starts with 60% ex-Bourbon barrels, then 26% red wine casks, 10% STR (shaved, toasted, and re-charred), and 4% virgin oak. While it carries no age statement, the Elements series is aged a minimum of three years. You should expect to pay about $56.99 for a 750ml and is bottled at 46% ABV.
I'd like to thank M&H Distillery for providing me a sample of Elements Red Wine Cask in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. I'll #DrinkCurious and get to it.
Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, this single malt presented as dull gold in color. While it left a medium rim, the legs were fat and heavy while racing back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
Nose: Toasted coconut is not all that unusual of an aroma. But, it is rare to be a dominant smell. That was joined with cranberry, cherry, ripe plum, chocolate, and oak. When I drew the vapor into my mouth, vanilla and nutmeg danced across my tongue.
Palate: I found the mouthfeel to be light yet coating. Flavors of red grape, vanilla cream, and toasted oak launched the experience. As it moved mid-palate, nutmeg and black cherry took over, which transitioned to black pepper, dry oak, and dark chocolate on the back.
Finish: Black pepper and dry oak carried into the finish. Cherry, plum, and vanilla cream assisted. While only 46%, I found it interesting how tingly my hard palate became.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Single malts finished in wine casks is a thing now. Admittedly, I'm fairly new to it. For the most part, I've enjoyed what I've tried. Elements Red Wine Cask is no exception and is in the upper-echelon of what I've sampled from that niche. I was a bit shocked how any sweetness was subdued compared to the spices on the back and finish. When I consider the price, this one's a no-brainer Bottle rating.
One final word - now that I've had all three of the Elements expressions, my favorite was Elements Peated. But, that shouldn't diminish the greatness of Red Wine Cask or Sherry Cask. You can't lose with any of the bunch. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It