India drinks more whisky than any other country on earth, although the majority of whiskies made in India are not exported, and often wouldn’t even qualify as whisky, due to their use of neutral spirit. Times are changing, however, and nowadays the country boasts a handful of single malt distilleries making high-quality drams. Here are five to try.
Amrut Single Malt
Chocolate pecan pie, gingersnaps, cinnamon, and bananas mingle with cedar spice and incense on the nose. Tongue-coating oiliness, dried fruits, chocolate, and ginger cake lead into a milk chocolate, buttered pecan finish that just doesn’t quit. The original Indian single malt rightfully retains its crown.
Scents of melon, fresh herbs, tea leaves, mango, banana, and papaya carry through on the palate, where brine, green apple and pineapple candies, jackfruit, and salted parsley leave me craving more. The Scottish peat is evident, but the structured fruitiness gives this whisky a soft edge that isn’t often found in scotch.
Amrut Two Continents
Progressing from perky and lively to refined and commanding, this whisky combines vanilla pudding and horchata with a generous topping of mango, tropical flowers, golden raisins, citrus zest, and tons of chocolate. It finishes with a steady warm glow, like granite temple stairs hot to the touch long after sunset.
Paul John Kanya
Sweet rock candy elevated by a bouquet of flowers: hibiscus, roses, jasmine. Assertive structure undergirds an intensely floral palate, lending complexity to flavors of melon, oranges, papaya, and cocoa.
Rampur Single Malt
Profoundly fragrant at the start, this whisky unveils layers of strawberries, melons, apples, dried pineapple, grape candy, and bubble gum, interspersed with spices. Mouthwatering and lipsmacking with a finish of oak, leather, and bitter chocolate.