A WHISKY LOVER’S GUIDE TO NON-SCOTCH DREAMS

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Published by Keshav Prakash, Mumbai Mirror

A new breed of distillers, from Australia to the US, are creating top-notch single malts aimed at those who are ready to move beyond Scotland.

Between Tasmania on our East, and USA on our West, lies the world of new emerging whiskies. Each one seeking to either move out of the shadow of the traditional Scottish malt, or aiming to stand out despite the blinding fetish that surrounds Japanese whiskies. There is no doubt that Japanese whisky is the leader of this pack, learning from and borrowing the traditions of Scotch whisky, but a silent growth of whiskies from different regions of the world — from the US, Taiwan, India, Canada, several parts of Europe, Australia — has begun to emerge. Engaged and passionate entrepreneurs have started smaller distilleries and bravely entered what was once the domain of large, multinational corporates. And, here is what you need to look for at the duty-free if you are ready to look beyond scotch.

PAUL JOHN, INDIA

Paul John Distillery, located in Goa, is a relatively new entrant into the world of single malts. In a recent blind tasting, at an underground whisky league that I am a part of, one of their expressions, Bold, fared exceptionally well. It received a much higher rating than a popular (more expensive) Japanese malt that I will refrain from naming. Amrut, without a doubt, set the stage for India to be listed and acknowledged as a producer of quality single malts. Until recently, I believed that Paul John single malts could have rested a wee bit longer as I found them ‘edgy’, but the Bold caught me by surprise. This well-balanced mildly-peated malt deserves an applause.

FACT FILE

» According to a study by IWSR last year, three quarters of non-Scotch growth will come from India, where 98 per cent of the segment’s market is for domestic whisky.

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