Bruichladdich Carmel "Kosher" Cask 1989 is no more kosher than any other sherry matured malt

You can still obtain  this bottle marketed under the title "Bruichladdich Scotch Islay Single Malt Carmel Kosher Wine Finish 1989"
However it turns out that this whisky is no more kosher than any other Single Malt matured in yayin stam (non Jewish) ex-sherry casks!
 


 

 


 
The question I needed answered was whether the wine which was previously in the Carmel wine barrels was yayin mevushal (boiled) or not. If the wine was lo-mevushal then as soon as a gentile touches the barrel, the barrel would take on the same kashrus status as any non-Jewish ex-wine barrel. However, if the wine which was previously in those barrels was mevushal then the barrel and any remnants of wine in the barrel remain kosher.

I wrote to Carmel Wines and asked them whether the wine which was previously in the barrels they sold to Bruichladdich was mevushal or not. They passed my query onto Adam Montefiore, the famous Carmel Wines spokesman. Within a day I received a very detailed email from him where he told me that he was personally involved in the sale of the Carmel Mizrachi wine casks to Bruichladdich. He said that he can state that those barrels previously contained wine which was lo-mevushal! In other words, as soon as they arrived at the Distillery the casks took on the same status as non-Jewish wine. That is, the small amount of wine left in the bottom of the cask would became yayin stam. So, although they were mareketed as "Kosher Whisky" they actually had the same kashrut status of any other non kosher sherry cask matured whisky.
He wrote on the 03/07/2012:
"...Bruichladdich purchased barrels from Carmel which were used for maturing Carmel’s Single Vineyard and Eizorit / Appellation wines at the Zichron Ya’acov Cellars. None of the wines aged in these barrels were Yayin Mevushal but all were 100% kosher.


The barrels were shipped after being sealed by Carmel’s Mashgiach. However after arrival in Scotland Carmel has no knowledge of how they were looked after. In other words Carmel claims responsibility only to the gates of the winery!... By the way, the label on the actual bottles and the gift boxes do NOT refer anywhere to Kosher Wine Finish. This would be misleading. They instead refer to additional cask enhancement in wine casks from Carmel Winery, Israel.

Of course, these were not Carmel products. Carmel only produces or distributes kosher products. However for those who wanted a whisky with a taste of Israel, these came as close as any. For the whisky lover, they were also magnificent whiskies (in particular the 1989.)I wish to reiterate, that these whiskies did not have a hechsher. Regards, Adam "

I wish to personally thank Adam for taking the trouble in writing to me with a very detailed reply which fully answers my query.

Comments

  1. I do not think tou are correct was there wine in the casks? If not why do you say that a blieah can become stam yaynom?

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    1. My point being that, as I understand it, even if you hold that that whisky matured in ex-sherry casks is ok as the sherry left in the cask in batel, the same holds true for the kosher lo mevushal wine which after being handled by the non-Jewish workers no longer has the status of kosher wine. In other words, the kosher wine cask does not have a better kosher status than a non-kosher wine cask.

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    2. Oh, I understand your confusion now. I am NOT talking about the blius of the cask, ie, the wine absorved in the walls of the cask, I am talking about the actual wine, some 2 to 3 litres or more which is left in the cask during transport which should by law be poured out before the cask is filled with new make spirit. (It is getting into another topic however when I have been told that sometimes, this sherry/wie is NOT poured out.....).

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