Skip to main content

Milk and Honey Sets Out to Put Israeli Whisky on the Map

Milk & Honey
Milk & Honey

India. Sweden. France. Israel? You heard right. The next hot whiskey-producing country just might be Israel.

Taking a page out of the Taiwanese Kavalan Whisky book, Milk & Honey worked with the late Jim Swan to create a superior whisky in hopes to build a whole knew category to stock their liquor shelves.

Like Kavalan and Brenne in France, Milk & Honey knows the world whisky movement is appealing to drinkers across the globe and the whisky market is no longer fully dominated by the four countries of Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the U.S., Japan can now also be lumped into the nation’s known as whisky makers, said Eitan Attir, the CEO of Milk & Honey.

Milk & Honey
Milk & Honey

“The audience wants a better story, whisky coming from different places, using different sources, climates, and environments of aging,” Attir said. “This segment will continue to get bigger and bigger. Now you can see more than 40 countries with at least one distillery.”

“It’s great and for us, we want to tell the story about Israel,” he added.

Milk & Honey’s first fully-mature single malt whisky will be ready next year, but to act as a bridge from when the company opened its doors to when the whisky is ready, they’ve made a range of gins and an herbal liqueur made with all Israeli botanicals.

Milk & Honey
Milk & Honey

They also have released sneak previews of the single malt as it ages — and despite no written regulations, they’re following the rules of Scotch. Within several months of the initial release of the fully mature single malt, Attir mentioned more editions, like peated and wine cask whiskies with wineries from Israel.

Attir said Milk & Honey has used Kavalan as a model as the climate of Tel Aviv is similar to that of Taiwan. The eight months of high temperatures and high humidity help the whiskies age quicker.

“The environment matures the whisky much faster so you get more color, more body, and more complexity in taste after several years and not the 12 to 18 for amazing vintages,” Attir said. The shorter time is a benefit when looking at the angel’s share, which is nearly10 percent annually in Israel, unlike the 1 to 2 percent in Scotland.

In addition to the environment in Tel Aviv, Attir said Israel has an additional three climates Milk & Honey will take advantage of with warehouses plotted out. Within two-hour drives, whisky can be stored in the desert, on the seashore, and in the mountains.

Milk & Honey
Milk & Honey

By utilizing the Israeli climates and as many Israeli ingredients as possible, Attir said they’re excited to tell the story of Israel through whisky.

Since Milk & Honey started their process in 2012, several other distilleries have opened in Israel, joining a slew of breweries and wineries in the Middle Eastern country.

Israel is a unique market in nearly a quarter of the whisky they drink is single malt, as opposed to the world average of 11 percent. Still, it’s a small country and the company has big ambitions and investments.

More than 85 percent of Milk & Honey’s products — it has a capacity of 1.1 million bottles a year — will be exported out of Israel, so the company’s executives feel it is important for them to build Israeli whisky as a category within new world whisky. The company expects to enter the U.S. market heavily in 2019.

“We are really happy there are more and more Israeli distilleries are opening,” he said. “It’s very important for us to show this side of Israel. All these distilleries will show a different side of Israel, using unique raw materials, so it’s not just what you see in the news, but a place full of free spirit and produces great beer, wine, and whisky.”

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
Get ready for party season with these batched summer margaritas
Coconut margaritas and prickly pear margaritas for a crowd
batched margarita recipes dsc03954 1

When you're preparing drinks for a crowd, batching cocktails is always a great idea. While it's great fun to make customized drinks for each of your guests, and that's something you can and should attempt for smaller gatherings, with a larger group you won't have time to individually mix drinks for each person. I find that it's fun to make individual drinks for groups of five or six, but more than that becomes difficult and has you running around the kitchen all night.

Instead, make your life easier by preparing a large amount of one or two cocktails ahead of time. You can mix up a big batch of drink and leave it in your fridge, then add ice when your guests arrive and garnish each drink as you serve it. That way, people still get the special feeling of a delicious cocktail but you won't be quite so frantic while trying to host.

Read more
A pair of regenerative whiskies to promote sustainable farming
WhistlePig and Brother's Bond are teaming up with this pair of American whiskies
regenerative whiskies whistlepig brothers bond bb wp bundle 6 scaled jpg

Beloved whiskey brand WhistlePig is known for its interest in farm to bottle production, with a focus on farming practices similar to what you'll find in many high-end restaurants. Now, the brand is teaming up with bourbon manufacturer Brother’s Bond to promote sustainable farming with each company releasing its own farm-based expression.

WhistlePig is debuting its new annual release of its FarmStock Beyond Bonded Rye Whiskey, and Brother’s Bond is releasing a Regenerative Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The two brands will be donating a portion of sales from each bottle to Regenerate America, a regenerative agriculture coalition which aims to promote sustainable farming and health soil.

Read more
4 simple gin cocktails anyone can make (that taste delicious)
Everyone can make these gin-based cocktails
gin cocktail


While we mix with any spirit during the warmer months (we live a good whiskey Highball), we tend to gravitate towards un-aged spirits like blanco tequila, vodka, white rum, and gin. The latter just might be our favorite spirit to mix with between June and September for a variety of reasons.

Read more