This International Whiskey Day Know Your Whiskey For The Shelf
Image Credit: Ayandrali Dutta

Tomorrow 27th March happens to be International Whiskey Day. International whisky day was established in 2009 to commemorate the birthday anniversary of a great English writer Michael Jackson. (Not the pop singer) Being one of the most revered & influential authors on the subject, the Whiskey Day Festival was organized in the Netherlands in the presence of several whiskey writers. I would thoroughly recommend the book “The Whiskies of Scotland” for an overview of the Scottish whisky world.

Whiskey is surely one of the classiest beverages one can sip. Sipping a nice, smooth single malt is almost Mozart or Beethoven for your taste buds. And trust me on this whisky aficionado’s can swear by it. All whiskey always start with a ‘mash’, which is a mixture of grain and water and then slowly is heated in order so that it breaks down carefully the starch into sugars. The type of grain that is used decides the quality if the whiskey that gets produced. This fine drink further sees a journey in the barrel where it ages. 

A quick rundown for beginners on the types of grains that sees a particular types of whiskey:

    Bourbon sees a mash 51% or more corn base, later it becomes a Corn Whiskey once it reaches 81%.

    Malt whiskey sees 51% malted barley.

    Rye is 51% plain rye.

    Wheat Whiskey, is made from Wheat.

For us Hemanth Rao - Founder of Single Malt Amateur Club has put together a short list of Indian ‘staples & specials’ whiskies for the daily drams and special occasions respectively.

Staples- Well we need these to be priced reasonably, not limited editions and most importantly available reasonably at hand

1.    Paul John Edited- Not enough can be said about this dram, with the gentle peat and rich character this whisky may just be the perfect transition from the winter to sunny days

2.    Amrut Fusion – One may argue that this may not be available at hand easily enough, but is that not telling you something? After 10 years of this whisky being launched if it is still selling out at locations… enough said

3.    Indri – New kid on the block? Creating waves across international whisky competitions this single malt from Piccadilly Agro is making the whisky world look up.

Specials- Whiskies made for that special occasion

1.    Amrut Spectrum 004, release in 2021 – For those who do not know about this whisky do read up. A creative approach from the distillery, of using different woods in a single barrel used for maturation. The 2021 was released in India for the first time, with only 600 bottles in the batch this one is a relatively tough find but will make it worth your while

2.    Amrut Neidhal – A surprise move by the distillery, this whisky was released as a single batch never to be repeated and was a secret malting. For those who managed to get a bottle cherish it for it may never come back again. Apt for that special birthday celebration.

3.    Paul John Mithuna – If you are looking for that special gift to whisky crazy geeks such as myself this would make them smile irrespective how many bottles they own.  A very complex and layered whisky this special edition will enamor you right from the packaging to the very last drop.