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Saturday, December 3, 2022

5 Indian whisky brands to try out

Nothing takes the edge off a long day like a glass of whisky. The sheer number of whisky brands available in India is a testament to the country’s love for this aged elixir. “Indian’s love for whisky is rooted in the flavour profile. It’s a robust and invigorating drink that can withstand the hearty and complex nature of our cuisine,” says Vaniitha Jaiin, Founder of The Perfect Pour, a wine, spirits and lifestyle consulting firm.

Whisky drinkers have never had it so good. Over the past decade or so, the number of varieties made in India has exploded, presenting tipplers with a mind-boggling array of options.

Here are some of the pours you don’t want to miss.

Amrut Fusion

This is a whisky that comes with Jim Murray’s stamp of approval. The widely respected whisky critic placed Amrut Fusion at No. 3 in the Whisky Bible in 2010. “They produce a whisky that a number of Scotland distilleries pray for,” he had said. Fusion is created from a mix of unpeated Indian barley and peated Scottish barley. These are separately distilled and aged for four years, then ‘fused’ together for three more months. The result is an award-winning spirit that has introduced many people to the splendours of Indian whisky.

“This was the first Indian Single Malt I had tasted long ago and was truly impressed by it. On the palate, it has refreshing notes of orange, peppery spice, gentle peat and some chocolate. The fruit and spice linger longer on the finish with subtle marmalade and sweetness. Makes a great ingredient for whisky cocktails such as Rusty Nail or Rob Roy,” explains Jaiin.

Paul John Edited Single Malt Whiskey

This whisky label from the sunny shores of Goa has been delighting whisky aficionados across the world with its supreme balance, distinct character and intense creamy flavours. “This one is my favourites amongst the 3 flagship malts from the Goan distillery. The Edited starts off with a good hint of peat on the nose, gives way to honey and coffee and lingers on to offer a long finish. I like my Edited neat, with one tiny cube of ice if the malt is really warm,” says Ajit Balgi, Wine & Spirit Consultant and founder of The Happy High.


This 100 percent homegrown whisky is the first product of Fullarton Distilleries for the Indian market. A labour of love, this full-bodied dram aged in matured oak wood barrels is distinctively smooth on the palate and rounds off beautifully towards the finish. The charring of the barrels gives the whisky a bold and smoky front balanced with a well rounded peat finish. No wonder it bagged a silver medal in the ‘World Blended Whisky” category at the International Spirits Challenge held in London, a competition which receives over 1700 entries across 70 countries.

Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky

This one’s from India’s oldest distillery Radico Khaitan in Uttar Pradesh. Rampur Single Malt is made from locally sourced barley malt, distilled in traditional copper pot stills and aged in ex-bourbon barrels which gives it a unique, smooth and mellow taste with a pleasant, lingering finish. The golden amber dram has a prominent fruity note with toffee in the background and traces of spices. The beautiful bottle packed in a silk pouch and fastened with gold tassel adds to the decadence. There is no age statement on the bottle. Signature Reserve is another whisky from Rampur worth checking out.

Kanya by Paul John

This particularly flavoursome Indian single malt from the house of Paul John is aged for seven years in first-fill bourbon barrels. “It’s a very complex whiskey with a well-balanced dryness. I like the rich creaminess and the soft butterscotch flavours from the oak. This single malt is a slow sipper when you have some time to just hang out and be. After a few drops of water it mellows out nicely while retaining a surprising amount of its spice character. Indulge with some exotic cheese on the side,” says Gaurav Bhatte, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager at Courtyard By Marriott, Mumbai.

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