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Different types of whiskies you can savour in India: Here are the best ones



Whisky is a dark and distilled spirit made by fermenting mash of grains like corn, rye, wheat and barley. It is aged in wooden casks for years, bottled and then the whisky is ready for consumption. But there are different types of whiskies classified on the basis of how they are made, whether they are made of single grain or mixed (blended) and the country of their origin. Here we have some best whiskies for you to take note and restock your home bar accordingly.

Single malt The single malt whisky is usually made from malted barley and produced in a single distillery. It can contain whisky from different casks, but only from the same distillery to have a regular taste.

GianChand Single Malt Whisky by DeVANS is one of the favourite single malts not just of whisky lovers but of noted critic and author of The Bible of Whisky, Jim Murray.

He was so impressed with this one that he hailed it as the finest single malt from India in recent times. The whisky has a backbone of vanilla with pineapple drop candy sweetness and a hint of barley. The thin oils lend it delicate notes making it a drink fit for the ongoing summers. Named after renowned Indian AlcoBev industrialist, Dewan Gian Chand, this one will surely be the pride of honour in your bar.

Rye whisky

Usually produced in United States, rye whiskey needs to have at least 51 per cent rye grain in its mash bill. It can include corn and malted barley, but it must be aged in newly charred oak containers. The higher percentage of rye make is extra spicy, a flavour irresistible to many. The spicy kick, akin to that of black pepper or clove like taste lends this whisky a unique taste. With its bold flavors, rye whisky is also preferred as a base in cocktails. Old Overholt Bonded Straight Rye Whiskey is one of America’s oldest whisky that underwent major changes recently. This new 114 proof line launched in 2020 is now bottled without chill filtration. It gives more complexity and texture to the drink. With herbal notes and a surrounding caramel core, it is a versatile option for many.

Blended Whisky

During blending of whisky, one can combine whisky from different casks with varying ages to get a combination of different flavours and find a balance of flavours. Here cheaper grains can be blended as they take lesser time to age, which enables the distillery to produce faster with less money and time. Though many prefer it due to being budget friendly, but single malts have a flavour advantage. Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky is blended and matured in heavily charred oak casks with malts from West Coast of Scotland. With smoky flavour, it delivers a new, intense drink for those who cannot compromise on quality and taste. It has flavours of clove, orange peel, vanilla, ignited dried fruit and a lingering peat smoke.

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A Scotch whisky is primarily made of barley, malted and then heated in a container over a peat fire. The entire process must be done in Scotland, and bottled there for it to be called Scotch. Chivas Brothers are the leading producers of Blended Scotch whisky, and this name is very popular in India. Chivas 12 is a Scotch whisky which has been aged for 12 years. It contains blends of Strathisla single malt and Strathclyde single grain making it remarkably smooth. Being budget friendly it should definitely be a part of your home bar.

Irish whisky

As the name suggests Irish whiskey is entirely made and bottled at the island of Ireland. Here whisky means uisce beatha that means water of life. The Irish have figured a lot of ways to enjoy their whisky, like having it Neat, adding a splash of water or ice, in a cocktail or with a mixer. McConnell’s Irish Whiskey with 42% ABV has tasting notes of pear cinnamon and orange zest. This rounded whisky foes well with a touch of citrus and surprisingly with Irish coffee too. Try it at times when you want to experiment or are bored of the regular drinks. McConnell’s Irish whisky has bold and smooth notes with a citrus kick.

Bourbon Whisky

This one is a barrel aged whisky made in America, majorly made from corn. It derives its name from the French dynasty. Elijah Craig Whisky is a Bourbon which follows the age old art of farm distilling the old way and American federal laws lay down clearly how this whisky must be processed. They must be aged for up to 12 years and thus get a subtle smoked flavour. With pours of copper, it has notes of vanilla, caramel and nutmeg as well as hints of fruit and mint. It is extremely popular amongst connoisseurs and amongst the more expensive liquor brands.

Canadian Whisky

Just like Scotch and Irish whisky, Canadian whisky too needs to be aged for a minimum of three years in Canada in wooden barrels that are 700 litres or small. Variety of barrels like new, old, uncharred or charred can be used. The spirit needs to be mashed and distilled in Canada to qualify. Forty Creek Confederation Oak is made in Ontario with rye, barley and corn. It has tasting notes of Praline, dark fruits and honey. Since it is made in colder climate, it is made of tighter grain and is finished for around two years in oak barrels in Canada.

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Japanese Whisky

Japanese whisky is majorly produced by two alco beverage companies, Suntory and Nikka. They produce single malt as well as blended whisky Suntory Kakubin stands out because of its square bottle. Made in different distilleries, the whiskies have different tasting notes because of the water sources and the type of wood used in the barrels. The Japanese wood lends a flavour that is very distinct from American spirit. Yamazaki 12 is a popular Japanese whisky in India, but its for those times when you really want to splurge. The whisky is available on the basis of its barrel type- Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak as well as Mizunara. The peated and unpeated whiskies when blended define Yamazaki.

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Aabkari Times Editorial Team
Aabkari Times is a monthly news magazine on Liquor, Excise and Alcohol allied industry; being published since 2009 by the expertise of retired excise dept. associates and alco-bev industry professionals as our editorial team. Our magazine contains different new alco-bev strategic and new brand launch articles as well as news on recent govt. policies, trends on alcohol industry and other important data relevant to the distilleries and industry at the mass.

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