In terms of consumption, India happens to be 3rd when it comes to downing whiskey across the world. The hard liquors other than the indigenous alcoholic beverages fall under the IMFL category – Indian-Made Foreign Liquor. Even if all commercialised bottled alcohol drinks come under the IMFL category, the real classy ones will always be the premium ones with higher prices and superb tastes. There are only 4 Indian Single Malts till now recognized and licenced by the office of the Indian Commissioner of Excise.
The old and the most popular ones belong to the Amrut Distillery, Karnataka, who are also the pioneers in the Indian Single Malt, with their products such as Amrut Indian Single Malt of 2010 and Amrut Fusion of 2019. Its raw material “barley” is sourced from the northwest part of the country and matured in American Oak and ex-bourbon before bottling. The notes consist of bourbon notes having a perfect blend of bitterness and sweetness, some nutty and citrusy with hints of burnt honeycomb.
Read More: Amrut: India’s First Single Malt Whiskey
Next in line is the Paul John Edited whiskey from the John Distilleries, Goa, which was launched in 2015 with much fanfare, and is a combination of Indian 6 row barley and peated Scottish barley. With a distinguished amber-gold colour, it has delightful notes of toasted cereal, barley and honey essence.
Third, in the list is none other than “Rampur Select Single Malt” from the Radico Khaitan Distillery of Uttar Pradesh. The Rampur is known for its hand-crafted whiskey matured in the foothills of the Himalayas. Launched in year 2016, it gives you balanced notes of malty and creamy vanilla with a floral aroma and toffee in the background.
The fourth and last in the row came into existence with the launch of “Kamet” in 2021, a collaboration between Peak Spirits and Piccadily Distilleries in Karnal, Haryana. It competes well with other Indian brands and tries to set a benchmark on the lines of world-class luxury single malt “The Macallan”. Their usage of ex-wine cask from France is a first in the industry and the wood qualities of these casks are very crucial to The Macallan’s properties. It utilizes the combination of wine, bourbon and sherry casks that give Kamet a vinous complexity and beautiful natural colour. Usage of 6 row barley from the foothills of Himalaya boosts Kamet with oaky spicy notes, harmonizing vanilla, caramel, subtle raisin and nutty finish.
As a matter of fact, single malt or any other cask processed liquor in India matures quite faster due to its tropical warm-type of climate prevailing in the entire sub-continent and the use of 6 row morphology of barley in whiskey production can be a game-changer in the time to come.
Note: Life is important. Drink responsibly