Located at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, the city of Rampur is the home of the Radico Khaitan distillery, formally the Rampur distillery.. Founded in 1943 the Radico Khaitan distillery is the oldest distillery in India although not the best known.
The distillery is better known for other spirits such as Vodka and Gin but in 1990 the distillery started to make whisky for the use in blended whiskies. The first official release of single malt in Europe wasn’t until 2016 when the Rampur select was released.
The distillery uses traditional 6 row barley which is higher in protein and therefore needs more seed to produce enough starch for the required liquid to seed ratio. Produced in a traditional way and using pot stills this Indian malt is mostly matured in ex bourbon casks but some other types of casks have now been used including both Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry butts.
With India’s warmer climate both the Maturation processs and the angels share are excellorated, those greedy angels take a far greater cut of the spirit with figures around the 12-15% pretty common in the Northern region of India.. The maturation is also speeded up with the expectation of a 3 year old single malt Indian whisky being similar in maturity to a Scottish 8 year old whisky, this is done by the liquid interacting far more with the wood than in the cooler climate of Scotland..
This double cask is a maturation of American Oak Ex Bourbon Barrels and a finishing period using European Oak sherry Butts hand selected by the Master Distiller, Anup Barik.. Both Non chill filtered and naturally coloured, the whisky carries a nice rich and deep golden hue to it.
Distillery.. Radico Khaitan distillery
Region.. Northern India
Cask.. Ex Bourbon – Finished in Sherry Casks
Nose.. An initial burst of dried fruits including Dates, raisins and prunes give a very inviting impression, there is a nice fresh fruit salad aroma rising and add a little honey, caramel and vanilla to the pot and this nose is very tempting.
Palate.. There is a rather intriguing note that i just cant place but with a burst of cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper the spices are in good form, those dried fruits are also there in abundance with a hint of candied orange and dark chocolate, a little coffee bean note blends nicely into soft oak.
Finish.. Spice and oak
Thoughts.. That unknown note is driving me mad now, i just cant place it but its like American cream soda with a twist of something.. Id even go as far as saying its similar to cognac..
The overall liquid is certainly pleasing and brings a little something different to the table, the spices and soft fruitiness give some depth and while its easy to tell this is not Scotch it certainly has a place in any whisky cabinet..
Is this a real complex whisky ? possibly not in the full extent of the term but what it does give us is a very interesting alternative, something that makes you think about the liquid and puts forward the question, Do i like this ? Personally i find it intriguing and interesting enough to want more..