What is the Hindi word for Whisky?… It’s Whisky

By Jo Phillips

It may come as quite a surprise but the biggest consumers of whisky in terms of pure volume are not Scotland Ireland or even England but India. And, even more surprising is the fact that over 33% of single malt is home-produced. Meet Rampur the home of India’s Single non-chill filtered whisky, which comes with its own unique take on taste and blend. Find out more in What is the Hindi word for Whisky? er Whisky…

The drinking of Scotch whisky was introduced to India in the nineteenth century, during the British Raj the name was given to the British Empire in India (1858 to 1947). Before its introduction most would partake in well-known indigenous liquors such as Mahua, Akani, Sulai, Bangla, Handia, and other historical regional alcoholic beverages. But once Indians fell in love with this golden elixir they took it to heart and have become the world’s biggest consumer of the malted drink. So loved in India is the golden liquor that songs have been sung along with of course marvelous dance moves. Here in this movie and song, a peg is a specific term used in India to mean a shot of whisky.

Rampur, is a northern Indian princely state known for its rich heritage and royal traditions. An ancient area that would have been run by kingly rulers known as Nawabs. As connoisseurs of great taste, the royalty of Rampur indulged in the pleasures of pursuing perfection. And it is here in this state that there is a distillery that produces high-quality prized “Rampur Single Malt Whisky. The Rampur Distillery is a leading Indian distillery.

The heart of their craft lies in their traditional approach, using copper pot stills to carefully distill and craft high-quality malt spirits. These spirits are then aged in a selection of barrels, creating uniquely Indian flavors for their esteemed niche premium brands.

The brand produces six key single malts within its range. and these are all Single Malts which means they come from just one single distillery and also only contain one type of grain.

Sangam World Malt Whisky

The first drink in the range highlights just how much their country’s culture is ingrained into the whisky. Sangam is a Hindi word meaning ‘confluence’. It evokes here where two rivers merge into one creating something greater than the sum of its parts. A meeting here if you like of East meets West.

Its tasting notes open with a taste of tropical juicy fruits like Lychee Pear and Apricots and with it comes a hint of floral tones from Rose all the way to Heather. The sweetness continues with Honey facets alongside Vanilla, Toffee and Caramel before diving into rich spicy Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Lingering on the palette are peaty salty soft sweet spices.

Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky

This specific whisky spends two-thirds of its life maturing in American Bourbon barrels and the other third in European Oak sherry Casks.

Unsurprisingly this also comes with soft sweet fruity notes of tropical fruits alongside a balsamic Vanilla echo from the American barrels and then comes Caramel, Dried fruit and Spice from the storage in European oak. So in total, the palette is enriched with fruit sweetness to open then Vanilla spice followed by malty oaky ‘sherry rich’ notes making it very smooth and deep and copper in colour that only adds to the drinking experience.

Rampur Select Indian Single Malt Whisky

The drink is distilled in large copper stills, matured in the oldest distillery in India that dates back to 1943. It has won multiple awards and is held in high regard. Even going as far as being known as the Kohinoor of single malts (the Kohinoor is one of the largest cut diamonds in the world).

Fruity with Spice, Vanilla, and Caramel this particular spirit is rounded smooth, also being even delicate on the palette.

Rampur Asava Indian single malt Whisky.

Again the deep historic Indian culture makes its play here. Asava is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘fermented juices’ (here we think Wine). This is a first as the single malt here is matured in American Bourbon barrels and then loveingly finished in Red Cabernet Sauvignon carks which makes this elixir totally unique.

As is the trademark of this brand opening here again are fruity notes of apricot blackberry and even black cherry with a hint of plum but most of all a big hit of Manuka honey that pulls you into the glass.

The lasting finish is Oak, Spice and Vanilla alongside a dry tannin finish from the Indian Wine casks. Lingering with a long and deep set of notes.

And if that were not enough the band has just released two new whiskies to their special Jugalbandi collection so now there is three and four. The first and second expressions in the Jugalbandi series sold out in record time.

In the world of music, Jugalbandi translates to “entwined twins” and refers to a duet of two solo musicians and instruments that own the stage in perfect partnership. In Western terms, we may well call it ‘being in the groove’. It is this essence that has been captured in the new Rampur Jugalbandi Single Malts, where the two casks used in each expression complement each other in perfect harmony.

Jugalbandi Three is matured in American Bourbon Barrels and then Port Wine casks within the Northern Indian climate to capture a classic combination. Again fruity top notes mingle with the Vanilla notes from the Bourbon barrels followed by the sweet notes of Prunes and spices from the Port casks. Think rich intense like a Christmas pudding of Nutmeg and Cinnamon with added facets of Apple. A truly original rich and smooth meeting of taste senstations.

And Jugalbandi Four? It’s again bout the two distinct barrels used in maturing. Here American Bourbon barrels meet Indian Pale Ale casks for another truly unique meeting.

Opening with tropical fruit notes offering a rich malty opening with fruit and floral hints and the elixir goes all the way to almost bitter malt notes with with spice and hops.

“We are always striving to continue innovating with each new release. I love marrying together pairs of different casks in the Jugalbandi series and am excited to have Rampur Select available again. We are looking forward to unveiling these three new expressions.” 

Anup Barik, Master Distiller at Rampur Distillery,

At the very heart of Rampur lies craft, fusion, and imagination. Respecting traditional craft, using copper pot stills to carefully distill and craft high-quality malt spirits. Then bringing the Indian culture into the mix bringing imagination to produce unusual takes on the most loved drink. And loved most it seems, in India.

To find out more about their Single malt collection please visit RampourSingleMalt.com here

If you enjoyed reading What is the Hindi word for Whisky?… It’s Whisky then why not read Bringing Commerce and Art Together here

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