Indians are the ultimate aficionados of whiskey, owing to their fervent and intense devotion to the beloved spirit. Whether it’s a rare bottle of scotch whisky from abroad or a locally-made blend infused with exotic flavors, whisky has become the drink of choice for many in the country. As we just celebrated International Whisky Day, it’s only fitting to raise a glass of your preferred aged whisky in honor of the occasion.
To enhance your whisky experience, we’ve curated a list of 7 exceptional hidden gems in the world of whisky that will undoubtedly elevate your home bar this year. These hand-selected offerings have been chosen to take you on a journey through the diverse and exquisite tastes of whisky.
DEWAR’S 12 Year Old
A favorite amongst tenured whisky drinkers, the DEWAR’S 12 Year Old is a direct descendant of one of the earliest creations of the Scottish brand. Known for its fruity notes, the 12 Year Old has a satisfying body with notes of honey, citrus and subtle vanilla, with a smooth, satisfying finish. Its distinctive flavor comes from the process of ‘Double-Ageing,’ and the 12 Year Old innovates on this age-old maturation technique by Double Ageing in first-fill bourbon casks – unlocking new depths to its trademark flavor.
Glenmorangie The Tayne
A Scotch inspired by a 16th century war legend between the English and Spanish navies, Glenmorangie’s The Tayne is a standout in many ways in the world of whisky. Created with clear Spanish influences, The Tayne chooses an unusual finish of amontillado sherry casks for its final maturation. The influence of the sherry is instantly evident in the bouquet, accompanied by aromas of rose petals, chestnuts, sweet toffee, Muscovado sugar, and tropical fruits. It features a sweet flavor with light bitterness and an aftertaste of spice, giving the Scotch plenty of volume and making it a memorable drink, especially for the Indian palate.
The latest and most exciting entrant in the Indian-made whisky space is LEGACY – a newly launched, made-in India premium blended whisky by Bacardi. This spirit offers consumers a uniquely local flavor through its blend of the finest Indian grains, created specifically for the Indian audience. The whisky boasts a rich blend of fruity notes layered with subtle peaty flavors, undertones of toasted oaks with a whiff of spice and a delicate vanillic smoky finish. With its complex flavor and easy-to-drink smooth texture, LEGACY aims to be a drink for all occasions – be it celebrations with loved ones or quiet relaxation at home. True to its name, LEGACY looks to be the go-to spirit for those who live a life full of passion and determination, building their own legacy every day.
For a relatively new homegrown Indian brand, Blisswater Industries’ Yaksha has already been making a name for itself. This budget craft whisky features a 5-year aged grain-malt mix. It gets a distinct flavor among IMFLs due to its aging process in American oak bourbon barrels, and its unique infusion of the soma plant from the subcontinent. The charcoal filter process gives this whisky a strong smoky flavor and is definitely worth trying for the curious drinker.
DEWAR’S Japanese Smooth
Whisky enthusiasts will undoubtedly be familiar with the smooth taste of DEWAR’S Scotch. The Scottish whisky maker’s latest innovation is DEWAR’S Japanese Smooth Scotch Whisky. An exciting amalgamation of the Japanese and Scottish whisky-making cultures of Scotland and Japan, this Scotch whiskey finishes its two-part maturation process in traditional Mizunara Oak casks sourced from Japan. The process lets the whisky imbibe the floral and woody flavors from the Mizunara oak, layered with DEWAR’S notes of heather and honey. Needless to say, its complexity of flavor and rich finish makes it an indulgent experience to enjoy neat, on the rocks, or to top off a Japanese-style highball cocktail.
Made in the picturesque land of Jammu, within the lap of the Himalayas, Gianchand whisky is an Indian single malt spirit known for its character. Established in 1961, Gianchand whisky gets its unique flavor from its geography – using water from the Himalayan river Tawi and maturing its spirits in the climate of the region. This gives it its rich golden color, along with a distinctive sweetish and spicy taste and peaty fruit notes. It is a smooth and light single malt favored by those looking for an easy to drink yet flavourful whisky.
Founded in 1830, Talisker is one of the oldest Scotch whiskies to come from the Isle of Skye. This award-winning single malt Scotch is matured for 10 years in American Oak barrels, and known for having a powerful pepper-induced and smoky aroma. The spirit brings a touch of brine and dry barley to the palate, leaving a memorably marine aftertaste that is delicately balanced by hints of orchard fruit. Tingling with truly unique flavors, it is a taste that is sure to stay with you right from the first sip!