The Remarkable Story Behind What Truly Makes Oaksmith Gold

Oaksmith Gold is a first of its kind spirit that brings together the best of Scotland and The United States of America by blending premium aged Scotch Malts, aged Kentucky straight Bourbon—some from distilleries over 200 years old—with world class Japanese craftsmanship. The blend is a celebration of craftsmanship and global collaboration, combining the best of East and West in a beautiful 6-edged bottle. Crafted by Shinji Fukuyo, Oaksmith Gold has been recognised as India’s first international blended whisky.  

Oaksmith first set foot in the Indian market in December 2019. It has been classified as premium whisky, which India has seen a surge in. The launch of Oaksmith in India is an important part of Beam Suntory’s strategy for growth. The company considers India to be an important market.  

So what makes Oaksmith truly gold? Here's what contributes to the magic: A whiff of Oaksmith Gold reveals rich, fruity and sweet top notes, followed by a hint of smoke. On the palate, it is full-bodied but mild, with a woodiness originating from ageing in oak casks. It has a clean and smooth finish. The whisky being aged in American oak barrels has given the brand its unique name, which is a tribute to the impeccable Japanese craftsmanship and the fine oak casks that Beam Suntory’s whiskies are aged in. 

One of the defining characteristics of Oaksmith Gold is its versatility. Its aroma and flavour profile shines through in the ‘Takumi’ serve ritual, which allows the ice and the water to open up all the locked flavours in the whisky. The maltiness and smokiness, which are a result of the addition of scotch malts in the blend, complement the intensity of Indian flavours like, a rich chicken tikka masala or a mild ‘ishtew’. 

“Blending spirits is about creating a harmonious flavour by weaving culture and tradition along with one’s own form of self-expression,” says Executive Officer and Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory Spirits Limited. “While making this blend, I wanted to ensure that it resonates specifically well with the Indian audience while being truly international in its spirit. I travelled across the country to understand the different food cultures and flavours. Eventually what I saw, heard and tasted, helped me explore a variety of flavour profiles and finalise this harmonious blend which has the best of America, Scotland and Japanese craftsmanship. I am extremely proud as the final product completely reimagines what the future of Indian whisky can be,” he says with regards to Oaksmith. 

It is said that Shinji Fukuyo visited India six times in the last few years and travelled across the country from Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and several other cities, to study how Indians like to drink whisky and what they enjoy. “When we decided to enter the Indian whisky segment, our vision was to make a truly international blend which will be premium in its category keeping in mind that we are a premium spirits company and operate in that space. While online research and surveys are important, we can only truly know what consumers want by being there on-ground and interacting with them. Hence, on all his visits he went to small and big joints including bars, pubs, ‘aahatas’ and small ‘nip joints’, to see how Indians are consuming whisky and what they are consuming it with. This helped us in understanding the nuances of Indian food and flavours and what could match perfectly with it,” says the brand.  

Oaksmith Gold is very high quality at an affordable price. The brand stands for global collaboration, combining the best of East and West in a bottle. Oaksmith is expected to set the bar high within the Indian whisky segment and become one of the largest brands in Beam Suntory’s premium portfolio over the next few years. The brand has already sold over 300,000 cases since its launch in India. With pilot markets established first in Maharashtra and Telangana, the brand is now scaling rapidly across geographies after having received an overwhelming response from its consumers. Oaksmith Gold has also been recognised in various international and national awards for its rich aroma, taste and finish.