Alert Concerning ‘The Israel Whiskey Society’

israel-whiskey-society-bottles5 Iyar 5770
April 19, 2010

Jerusalem Kosher News has learned that the “The Israeli Whiskey Society” single cask whiskey that is about to go on sale (“Jerusalem Cask”) or is already on sale (“Scots Hotel” Single Cask) is most probably chametz that remained in the possession of a Jew over Passover and therefore, may be forbidden forever.

There are those seeking to assist the local whiskey aficionado in clarifying this matter after learning that it remained in the possession of its Jewish owners over the holiday this past Pesach, as well as previous ones while it was aging. But, the JKN has learned that they have been unsuccessful, thus far, in their efforts to determine if there is a way to have the whiskey permitted b’dieved (post-facto). It should be noted that the chairman of the Israeli Whiskey Society has been honest, forthright, and fully cooperative in these efforts.

Those interested in seeing the bottle in order to become familiar with the label, may visit the following websites to learn more. To the best of my knowledge, all the locally-aged whiskey currently being bottled and sold by the IWS in Israel most probably falls under the category of chametz that remained in the possession of Jews on Passover and therefore it remains prohibited forever.

Link to IWS explanation of the product.

Link to Israel Whiskey Society website in Hebrew and English.


  • Yisrael Medad
    April 19, 2010 - 10:55 | Permalink

    And you should add: and not sold. While Halachically, once sold the chametz is not long “in possession” of the owner, nevertheless, physically it may well have been so.

  • Shy Guy
    April 19, 2010 - 16:42 | Permalink

    I just looked at the IWS PDF. I notice that they are storing the stash in the Scots Hotel in Teveriya and in the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.

    These are very non-Jewish hotels – especially the Scots!

    Now I see that the general manager has a nice Jewish name (Yonatan Shy). However, is he a partner, shareholder? Are non-Jews involved? If so, to what extent and what might be the halachic implications?

    I was joking with my son recently (OK, at the Pesach table – me bad!) about investing in opening up an Israeli whiskey distillery. I never heard of IWS until now.

    And hello Winkie! :)

  • yosel the shiker
    April 20, 2010 - 23:39 | Permalink

    There maybe a heter based on the following:
    All schnapps is distilled which makes it “zai’ah” . As such it is not considered chametz according to some. Check it out – its a ‘hefsad merubah–

  • Shy Guy
    April 21, 2010 - 16:12 | Permalink

    Yosel, sounds far-fetched to me, because I don’t believe Hefsed Merubah would apply to anyone who did not care to sell their Chometz at all. Perhaps there would be room for pity if someone forgot to include chometz of great value at the time they signed the Shtar Mechirah but I assume that language such as “u’bechol makom sheh’hu” covers such cases anyway.

  • April 21, 2010 - 17:39 | Permalink

    ישר כוח
    כנראה שמדובר רק ביישון נסיוני ולא מסחרי
    זה בוודאי עורר אותם לגבי המשך התהליך,ויש לציין שיש רצון עז שהייצור יהיה כשר.אין ספק שהפרסום יעזור לחדד הדברים

  • Shimon
    May 2, 2010 - 20:18 | Permalink

    chametz shavar alav pesah doesn’t apply to a mixture. The Gemera list Median Beer as an example. Median Beer is made from wheat.

    I drink very little alcohol (nothing on Purim in accordance to the shitah of the Rema and Rav Ovadiah Yosef. So I am going to have to admit ignorance about whiskey.

    Could someone explain to me why whiskey is different? Or point me to a tshuva.

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