Rampur Signature Reserve Single Malt Whisky

To commemorate Rampur Distillery’s 75th anniversary, Radico Khaitan has achieved a historic milestone with the release of this single malt — the only Indian whisky which sells at ₹5 lakh a bottle. Out of a limited release of 400 bottles, only two remain; each bottle is individually numbered and carries the signatures of Lalit Khaitan, chairman, and the Rampur Master Maker.

Rampur Signature Reserve undergoes an elaborate aging process in American standard oak barrels, enduring the challenges of India’s hot climes. It is one of the oldest malts from India. The Master Blender handpicked four distinct casks, which were then transferred to specially chosen PX Sherry Butts from Jerez, Spain, for the final maturation phase. The amber coloured, reddish whisky is all about creamy vanilla and sweet toffee on the nose, to start with, followed by cinnamon, dried fruit, honey, nuts, tropical fruit, and oak. On the palate it has a rich and creamy mouth feel, followed by layers of sultanas, toffees, Christmas pudding and burnt cinnamon. The lingering finish has notes of dried fruit and oaky spice.

Price: ₹5 lakh

Amrut Greedy Angels Chairman’s Reserve 12 Years Old

It is the oldest single malt whisky released to date by an Indian distiller, crafted by Amrut Distillery in Bengaluru. It is made up of hand-picked malted barley, matured in oak casks, which impart the liquid its unique notes of fruits (especially blood orange), honey, a slight saltiness, vanilla, and spice, on the nose. There’s a taste of vanilla which veers towards spiced cocoa, with a layer of honey. The finish is orangey, with a hint of honey.

Price: ₹1.65 lakh

Rampur Jugalbandi #3 Indian Single Malt Whisky

This whisky from Radico Khaitan, one of the four expressions, marries the sweetness and spice from American bourbon barrels and a smooth, velvety aria with hints of sweet plum cake from Port casks. The intense tropical fruity top notes evolve into a hint of mango for the nose, before the elegance of lychee playfully steps in with the heavier sweet and spicy notes of the Port cask. For the palate, there’s refreshing vanilla notes from the First-Fill Bourbon (a cask that has previously been used to age sherry, port, bourbon and is now being used to age another whisky), followed by the cheerful sweetness of prunes and spicy notes of the port cask extract, unravelling the flavours, layer by delicate layer. The aromatic finish lingers on your palate: a jugalbandi of textures tempting you to take another sip.

Price: ₹40,000

Paul John Single Cask Unpeated Madeira

The newest of the lot, freshly launched at the Duty Free at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, is the first global travel retail single cask release by Goa-based Paul John Whisky, in partnership with Avolta Duty Free. Dedicated to the city of Bengaluru, this unpeated Madeira single cask expression by award-winning Paul John Single Malt comes in a special packaging that evokes the spring blossoms of the Garden City. With its dark amber colour, it looks particularly seductive in Paul John’s distinctive glass bottle. On the nose, aromas of Christmas cake and dry plum waft by, mingled with manuka honey and orange zest. On the palate, this single malt has the sweet flavours of rich vanilla and dark chocolate, exploding with a tinge of dry resin. The finish is bold, rich, creamy, and gratifyingly oaky.

Price: $300

Mithuna By Paul John

From the John Distilleries of Goa, comes the second expression of Paul John’s Zodiac Series — Mithuna (the Indian counterpart of zodiac sign Gemini) by Paul John. It was declared the third finest whisky in the world by the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible — the world’s leading whisky authority and guide — in 2021. Mithuna, which has the burnished colour of old oak, has been matured in American oak casks and finished in ex-Bourbon casks, lend sophisticated aromas of liquorice, beeswax, honey on crisp toast, and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, there are flavours of coffee mocha, orange peel, and delicate spice on active tannins, with gentle oils and dark cocoa notes. The finish is long and complex, with multi-toned sugars and honey.

Price: $240

Crazy Cock ‘Dhua’ — The Peated One

The first original bottling from South Seas Distilleries, one of the oldest malt distilleries in India located in Dahanu, Maharashtra, is becoming a cult whisky. The word ‘crazy’ in the name Crazy Cock is an ode to the founder, the man behind its creation who went against all odds at a time when malt whisky as a category did not exist in India, by setting up world-class pot still distillation and maturation facilities. ‘Cock’ or the rooster has a positive connotation in a lot of cultures around the world. The trumpeting or the crowing of the rooster signifies the awakening of a new day. The spirits in Crazy Cock ‘Dhua’ — The Peated One are matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-sherry casks for a full-bodied and complex flavour profile. These eclectic, gently peated (‘dhua’ means smoke), and aged single malts are carefully selected by the master whisky maker, each for its uniquely rewarding aroma and palate and crafted to perfection in small batches of Crazy Cock Single Malt Whiskies, with its antique gold colour, it’s gently smoky on the nose, with notes of raisin, dark chocolate, spicy cinnamon, vanilla, mandarin, sweet peat and summer barbecue. On the palate, it’s smoke laced with spice, raisins, cinnamon, with a touch of sweetness. There’s a lingering, warm finish.

Price: ₹12,500

Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky — Exclusive Edition

The Single Malt Amateur Club (SMAC), India’s top single malt whisky appreciation club, and Amrut Distilleries, joined hands to release ‘Children of a lesser God’, Amrut’s first single cask release in India available to the club’s members in a limited edition of 144, with an artistic package design. This whisky has been a decade in the making, and is the work of Ashok Chokalingam (Master Distiller, Amrut Distilleries) and Hemanth Rao (founder, SMAC). It has been matured in an ex-rye cask, giving the whisky a unique flavour profile. On the nose, it’s sweet, with a fresh waft of the wildlife of a wet forest — where wood decays. Think Ooty meadows and rain! The palate is about medicinal juice from sweet, herbal bitters and farm-y notes in a viscous and thick syrup. This is an atom bomb on the palate with an intense spice that kicks in after three seconds. A rare segment where ‘heavy’ is not peat or sherry. The finish is medium, reminiscent of fresh bitters that mimic biting into a grass stem.

Price: ₹9,999

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