Move over red wine, whisky is the new go-to-gift this Christmas season. It's an ideal gift for the whisky lovers in your life, and those who are excited to expand their palate.
With the rise of Indian single malts, a new generation of whisky enthusiasts have emerged. With the sales booming, Indian whisky brands have proved themselves in the beverage industry. Earlier, trips outside of India meant for a mandatory duty-free whisky run, but now, you can get great quality, tasty ones right at your doorstep.
We have compiled our favourite, authentic single malt whiskies native to India, that make amazing gifts and that people will consume, with curiosity.
The winner of the multiple awards since 2011, Amrut Fusion is worth all its hype. With a complex, thickly oaked scent, this whisky is ideal for a beginner whisky lover who prefers malty and more delicate flavours. With a full-blown peaty palate, it has a slight sherry trifle note that balances the oaky vanilla and fruit flavours It has a great spice finish and a unique mouthfeel. The flavours cascade for a long finish instead of lying down, creating a surprise ending that will leave you saying "woah".
Seagram’s Longitude 77 Indian Single Malt Whisky is a tribute to India's allure, embodying both luxury and sophistication. Crafted in small batches at a distillery in Dindori, Nashik (Maharashtra), this whisky is meticulously created for enthusiasts seeking genuine contemporary Indian elegance. Its flavour profile, characterized by rich, mellow tones of oak, vanilla, and a subtle fruit note, reflects the care and craftsmanship put into each bottle. The packaging includes a symbolic stamp that honours India's contributions to the world. For pricing details, please inquire. It is available in Maharashtra, Goa, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and at Delhi Duty Free.
Winner of the Liquid Gold Award, Amrut never misses. This Indian Single Malt has a licorice-bourbon scent with notes of burnt honeycomb and toffee. It's rich palate has an enormous barley-oak sweetness, and the bourbon taste is cut crisply with the licorice and molasses. With a deep woody dram, the finish has variations of a sweet-dry theme and ends with a silky touch of cream toffee. With a strong, intense flavour, it's perfect for those who wish to unwind after a long day's work.
With the distillery found close to the historical town of Kurukshetra, Kamet whisky is the perfect symbol for Indian whisky. It's a new-age whisky with a fruity aroma profile. Having vague spice, vanilla, and caramel notes, there is a subtle whisper of a smokey, leathery scent. The palate is vibrant, consisting of spiced wood, cinnamon sticks, and sherried influences. It has a slightly charred, earthy finish that harmonises with a sweet chocolatey aftertaste. This whisky and Christmas go hand in hand.
Distilled at the foothills of the Himalayas, Indri Trini is a phenomenal single malt. It is one of the few triple cask matured whiskies in the country and is perfect for a cold night. With traces of black tea and caramelised pineapple, the aromas are luring. With a whiff of oak, vanilla, raisin and honey, this whisky is a brilliant choice for single malt lovers. It has a gentle spice and wood taste, with a nutty character as well. It's a smooth, warm blend that allows all the flavours to dance synchronously. The berry-like top notes are a perfect transition for a smooth, fruity finish with a lingering after-palate. With more than 14 global awards, Indri Trini has put India on the world map of premium single malts like never before.
Price: Haryana - INR 3,000; Delhi - INR 3,700; Maharashtra - INR 5,400
Diageo India announced the launch of Godawan last year, named after the endangered Great Indian Bustard found in Rajasthan, its final bastion. With a limited edition Godawan 100 to follow up, Diageo seems to be on the right track. Godawan is a single malt, aged in barrels infused with local botanicals. Crafted in Rajasthan's Alwar distillery, these whiskies—“Rich and Rounded” and “Fruit and Spice”—are made from regionally sourced six-row malted barley. Maturing in a hot climate, unlike Scotland’s, accelerates evaporation, hastening the whisky's aging process significantly.
No one does single malt whisky like Paul John, and this one is nothing short of spectacular. With a walnut, barley, and sugary nose, this whisky is a perfect mix of sweet and savoury. The classic, earthy peat notes are balanced with a touch of salt. The flavours are big and bold, yet not overwhelming as the flavours level each other out. The BBQ smoked sugar and hints of tropical fruit are balanced with slightly damp earthy, and spiced notes, giving each sip a solid ratio of sweetness to smoke. The bitter orange peel finish allows for a great, simple ending.
Solan Gold's distillery is famous for using water directly from the Himalayas and is created by the same brand as Old Monk. However, they are very quiet with their advertising, so it remains a hidden gem. It's a whisky that surprises us all with its complexity. With a fruity nose with hints of caramel, this whisky is great for a Christmassy day It has a sweet, toffee palate that has a nostalgic woody scent. With hints of apples lurking, the sweet, oaky palate is balanced greatly with dry spice. It has a warm burn in the end and finishes with a hug of spice. This is a great gift to your loved ones who love Christmas and all its charms.
With inputs from the Single Malt Amateur Club