Radico Khaitan’s Happiness in a Bottle Gin and 4 more spirits to check out this month

What you need to know about Amrut Two Indies White Rum, Happiness in a Bottle Gin, Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla, Hoegaarden Gin and D’Yavol Inception scotch, including the price.


MURALI K MENON:  With a blended Scotch whisky from Aryan Khan’s Slab Ventures, AB Inbev India enters the gin arena, and a stellar Ardbeg. There’s a lot happening this August.
Amrut Two Indies White Rum
Amrut Distilleries, which already has a lovely Two Indies Dark Rum in its portfolio, recently launched a white rum variant. The rum is a blend of Caribbean rums, jaggery rum (the jaggery is sourced from Mandya in Karnataka), and sugarcane that is grown, quite literally, in their own backyard. According to Amrut, “In our endeavour to find the perfect sugarcane, we took the conscious decision to grow our own cane, so that we could ensure the quality we desired.” The rum, bottled at 42.8 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), is said to have a “soft landing with notes of buttered jaggery and crystalized white sugar” on the nose, and a “clear hint of fresh-cut cane” on the palate. Rs 1,899 (Karnataka)
Happiness in a Bottle Gin
They could have been more imaginative with the names, but since Radico Khaitan knows a thing or two about making good gin – reference: Jaisalmer – we’ll let it pass. The Happiness in a Bottle: A Happily Crafted Gin range features three gins, Joy of Juniper, Joy of Citrus, and Joy of Pink, all of which have ashwagandha as a botanical in common along with juniper of course. While Joy of Juniper is self-explanatory, the citrus gin uses Gondhoraj lemon, grapefruit, and lemon leaf, while the pink gin features botanicals such as strawberry, pink grapefruit, lychees, rose petals, pink pepper, and hibiscus flower. Rs 2,000 onwards
Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla
Ardbeg calls itself the ultimate Islay whisky, and that isn’t an exaggeration. Its smokey charms have enraptured many. If you are one of them, and if you have a cousin/close friend/maybe random acquaintance coming in from abroad, ask them to pick up the Smoketrails Manzanilla edition that marries whisky aged in Manzanilla sherry casks and American oak casks. (Manzanilla is a type of sherry made from palomino grapes and aged under a layer of yeasts. Manzanilla can only be produced around Sanlucar de Barrameda, on Spain’s Atlantic coast.) The result, says Ardbeg, is deep, pungent flavours – soot, dark chocolate, nuttiness – on the palate, and salty sea spray on the nose. Rs 7,500 (at Mumbai International Airport and at duty-free stores across the world.)
Hoegaarden Gin
A glass of Hoegaarden beer is always a good idea, but what would gins from the brand be like? We will find out soon enough with the Hoegaarden gin range that will soon be launched by AB InBev India, which, like Pernod Ricard and Diageo, is getting into the premium spirits game. The range of gins, which appear to be an India-only offering, include the citrus-forward Mediterranean gin, Belgian Original that echoes the taste of Hoegaarden beer, and Parisian Romance, which is “infused with a floral and gentle aroma of mixed berries”. Rs 2,460 onwards (in Karnataka).
D’Yavol Inception
Six months after launching its high-end vodka, Slab Ventures, founded by Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, and Bunty Singh and Leti Blagoeva, has just released its first whisky. D’Yavol Inception is a non-chill filtered Scotch whisky that is blended from eight single malts from across Scotland, including the Highlands and Lowlands. The lifestyle company has tied up with the Indian arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, to sell its products across the country and in international markets. According to Slab Ventures, half the malts in the blend spend about four years in first still tawny port and madeira casks before being blended with “punchy peated single malts” and floral malts. Bottled at 47.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), the whisky promises notes of “creamy toffee, orchard fruits, and a touch of vanilla and honey along with well-balanced smoke.” The whisky is currently available in Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. Rs 9,800 (Maharashtra)