Maverick Drinks has been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for Israel’s first whisky distillery.

Milk & Honey (M&H) Distillery, which was founded in Tel Aviv in 2012, was the first whisky distillery to open in Israel. It currently produces a young single malt spirit, Levantine Gin, and herbal liqueurs, and Maverick will bring Israel’s first Single Malt Whisky to the UK market in late 2019.

UK consumers are increasingly seeking out imported whiskies. Brands from countries such as Japan and Canada have seen volume increases, and whiskies from other countries – including Australia and those from Scandinavia – are also starting to appear in the UK. CGA data to March 24, 2018 shows sales of imported whiskies have grown 3.4% compared to four years earlier.

The hot and humid weather in Tel Aviv means the whisky matures and extracts barrel flavour quickly, giving the young spirit plenty of flavour and the characteristics of a whisky aged for much longer in a colder climate, according to the producer.

M&H’s current Young Single Malt is matured in three types of cask (bourbon, red wine and Islay) providing intense notes of black cherry and red berry fruits, with hints of vanilla, candyfloss and subtle smokiness.

Also in M&H’s core range is its Levantine Gin, which features local botanicals such as Za’atar, lemon peel, orange and lemon verbena, and is also available oak aged. The distillery also makes a herbal liqueur called Roots filled with regional ingredients such as cardamom, thyme, almonds, coriander and jasmine.

Michael Vachon, Maverick’s head of brand development, said; “M&H is rightfully taking its place as a leader in the New World whisky category. Israel’s Mediterranean climate, unique among significant whisky producers, coupled with the innovative production methods laid down by the late Dr Jim Swan, an expert on warm weather distilling, mean their spirits have a real depth and maturity to them that is on par with (or better than) many much older whiskies.”

Eitan Attir, chief executive of M&H, said: “The M&H Distillery is very enthusiastic about this future long term partnership with Maverick Drinks, who we believe is the best partner to develop and build the brand. The UK is one of our first markets outside of Israel and we are excited to bring to the country a bit of our Tel-Aviv’ien sun and fine spirit.”

M&H joins Maverick Drinks’ growing roster of unique international craft spirits brands including Ableforth’s, Balcones, Bluecoat Gin, Brenne, Darkness!, Drinks by the Dram, Empirical Spirits,  FEW Spirits, Kyrö Distillery Company, Mr Lyan, New York Distilling Company, Oslo Distillery, Smooth Ambler, St George Spirits, Teeling, That Boutique-y Gin Company, That Boutique-y Rum Company, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Widow Jane and Wolfburn.