The nose of the Milk and Honey Classic Cask opens with an industrial, yet warm cedar, undertone. The dominant, robust, unctuous overtone is Half-and-Half cappuccino foam misted with honey made from tulip fields and vanilla beans in equal parts. Milk and Honey either named their brand after this nose—improbable—or perhaps I am unduly swayed by the intoxicating magic of words—likely, but inapt in this case—or perhaps the distillery master leaned into the oak aging and brought out a lovely coruscating trio of notes. We got also a cedar deck that had been exposed to years of elemental fury, both tempering the natural woodiness and also elevating the resilient sinuous sinewy fiber-y “roots in the ground, leaves in the sky” of the planked tree. A perfectly adorable four month old Rottweiler, Ariel, and a loquacious duck, Belle, bask in the sun, snuggling with each other, and occasionally gnaw on the deck. A pixelating sprinkling of tannins, which we named “Biff,” evanesce into sonar pings of juniper.
The mouth is lemony, woody, young, and innocuous: It evokes drinking whisky out of wooden mugs with (room temperature) ebony “ice” cubes. It asks drinkers to look deep within and self-evaluate their worthiness to taste whisky. As I ponder my fabled foibles, the mouth’s role expands, like a walk-on college sports hopeful who eventually makes the starting roster by a mixture of spunk, vim, and sheer desire. We also got Uni, which eventually won us over with its seawater blessings.
The finish is the cedar deck after a wedding reception hora was danced on it to live klezmer music: Light, faint footprints marking the brief passage of time and the start of a life-long journey. (Ariel and Belle were startled: They thought they owned the deck.) Closure and eschatology are not what the Jewish religion is about; it’s the questions, considerations, and interpretations all leading to more discussion, examination, and exploration. It’s an unfinished business.
On the scale of unfinished works of art–
The M&H (Milk & Honey) Classic Single Malt Whisky is Arnold Schoenberg’s opera Moses und Aron–Completion and redemption are coming!
–Our thanks to ImpEx Beverages for the sample!