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The Finest Indian Whiskies of 2023: A Guide to the Top 7 Between Rs 5,000 to Rs 13,000

The Rise of Indian Whiskies in 2023: A Global Triumph

The year 2023 has marked a significant turning point for Indian whiskies, solidifying the country’s position at the forefront of the global whisky landscape. The Indri Diwali Collector’s Edition 2023, unveiled in October, emerged as the standout whisky of the year, earning the prestigious title of “Double Gold Best In Show” in the 2023 Whiskies of the World Awards. This accolade, achieved by surpassing over 100 other varieties, including scotch, bourbon, and British single malts, highlights the exceptional quality and craftsmanship of Indian whiskies.

In a historic shift, India has claimed the title of the world’s largest Scotch whisky-consuming nation by volume in 2023, surpassing long-standing leader France, as reported by the UK-based Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). Furthermore, Forbes notes that India secured the fifth position on the list of the world’s largest buyers of Scotch whisky in terms of value. This remarkable feat not only signifies India’s growing influence in the global whisky market but also underscores the increasing appreciation for Indian whiskies on the international stage.

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular Indian whiskies that have captivated enthusiasts and found a place on liquor store shelves worldwide.

1. Indri Diwali Collector’s Edition 2023

The Indri Diwali Collector’s Edition 2023 stands out as a remarkable peated Indian single malt whisky produced by Piccadilly Distilleries, a Haryana-based brand established in 2021. Crafted with six-row barley, the whisky undergoes distillation in a traditional Indian-style copper pot before maturing in PX Sherry Casks for an extended period, contributing to its exceptional character.

Earning the distinguished title of the world’s best whisky at the Whiskies of the World Awards, this expression boasts a complex flavor profile. Expect notes of candied dried fruits, toasted nuts, subtle spices, oak, and bittersweet chocolate, creating a sensory experience that has captivated whisky enthusiasts globally. The recognition in one of the world’s prominent whisky-tasting competitions solidifies its status as a standout in the ever-growing world of Indian whiskies. Priced at Rs. 5000 (approximately).

2. Amrut Fusion

Amrut Fusion, boasting a 50% alcohol by volume (ABV), earns its name from the unique blend of barley that contributes to its distinctive profile. This fusion involves combining Indian malted barley and Indian malt smoke with Scottish peat. The result is a whisky with a robust and dynamic flavor profile, characterized by notes of fresh fruit, honey, spice, and a pronounced hint of smoke.

Notably, in 2012, Amrut Fusion garnered acclaim by being named the best whisky for Rob Roy in the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge held in New York. Priced at Rs. 5,200, it offers enthusiasts a premium and flavorful experience, showcasing the innovation and craftsmanship present in the Indian whisky landscape.

3. Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky (Exclusive Edition)

The exclusive edition of Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky presents a delightful experience for the palate. Crafted with a skillful blend, it encompasses the rich flavors of dried fruits, honey, and dark chocolate. This highly sought-after single malt culminates in a satisfyingly smoked almond finish, adding an extra layer of complexity to the overall tasting profile.

Priced at Rs. 9,900, this exclusive edition caters to those who appreciate the finer nuances of single-malt whiskies, making it a notable addition to the selection of premium Indian whiskies available in the market.

4. Indri Single Malt

Indri Single Malt stands out as a distinctive creation, crafted from indigenous six-row barley cultivated for centuries in the region of Rajasthan. The production process begins with the meticulous manual harvesting and hand-selection of barley for malting. Following this, the malted barley undergoes thorough fermentation before being distilled in head-pot stills.

What sets Indri Single Malt apart is its maturation in three distinct casks: ex-bourbon, ex-French wine, and PX-sherry casks. This unique aging process contributes to its mildly spicy and woody character, complemented by subtle notes of burnt pineapples, citrus, and raisins. Priced at Rs. 5,400, this offering is a testament to the diverse and innovative landscape of Indian single malts, providing enthusiasts with a flavorful and captivating experience.

5. Kurinji

Kurinji, a creation by Amrut, takes its name from the shrub found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats spanning Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. This delectable Indian whisky undergoes a five-year aging process in ex-bourbon casks, resulting in a distinctive character. Crafted using six-row barley, Kurinji boasts a 46% alcohol by volume (ABV) and features lightly floral aromas that contribute to its overall appeal.

The whisky makes a lasting impression, offering a finish characterized by a generous infusion of oak and spice. Priced at Rs. 5,999, Kurinji represents a fine example of the artistry and craftsmanship evident in the Indian whisky landscape, providing enthusiasts with a delightful and nuanced tasting experience.

6. Paul John Single Malt Mithuna

The Paul John Single Malt Mithuna stands out as a premium Indian whisky known for its rich and diverse flavor profile. It encompasses a range of notes, including hints of liquorice, sweet honey, and vanilla, along with more complex undertones such as coffee, orange peel, dark chocolate, ginger, pepper, and cinnamon. This intricate blend of flavors contributes to a unique and enjoyable tasting experience.

Matured in virgin American oak casks and further refined in ex-bourbon casks, the Mithuna exemplifies the meticulous craftsmanship involved in its production. Priced at Rs. 6,000, it is a noteworthy addition to the list of must-try Indian whiskies, appealing to enthusiasts with its depth of flavors and sophisticated maturation process.

7. Rampur Indian Single Malt

Hailing from the foothills of the Himalayas, the Rampur Indian Single Malt is a product of meticulous craftsmanship. Distilled and matured in this unique terroir, the whisky is crafted from carefully selected barley cultivated using traditional agricultural methods. Its maturation process involves aging in bourbon casks, utilizing oak barrels sourced from the USA, and European oak sherry casks.

Priced at Rs. 12,500, this Indian Single Malt offers a distinctive profile characterized by the natural aroma and taste of tropical fruits. The sherry-like finish adds an extra layer of complexity, making Rampur a noteworthy choice for enthusiasts seeking a blend of traditional techniques and unique regional influences.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.