On Thursday the 12th of November Rampur Distillery India held a virtual tasting to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. Master distiller, Anup Barik joined the tasting live from the distillery at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains in Uttar Pradesh.
The Himalayas provide polar opposite climate conditions throughout the year. 2 degree winter temperatures are followed by 42 degree scorching summers later in the year. This means that the maturation rate of the whisky is incredibly quick, but the extreme conditions allows for a single malt with a great depth of flavour.
Established in 1943, Rampur is now the largest Indian beverage company. They added a malt distillery in 1993 and worked tirelessly to achieve their goal of producing an Indian single malt ready for market. They achieved this in 2016 with Rampur Select.
They now have 5 different expressions available to 50 countries worldwide. Today, along with 30 esteemed members of the whisky media, I tried four of the expressions and had the pleasure of being talked through each one by Anup Barik. Here are my notes from the session:
Rampur Select Indian Single Malt Whisky ABV: 43%
A nose full of fruity character with notes of lychee, banana and apple. There’s also some spicy cinnamon and a subtle sweetness of honey. The palate reveals a rush of spice and aroma which fill the mouth. Fruit and sweet sherry also arrive. The finish is incredibly long and the Indian aromas and spice coat all of the mouth and last for ages.
Rampur PX Sherry Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky ABV: 45%
This whisky is matured in American oak and transferred to sherry butts from Jerez, Spain for further maturation. There is a balance of fruit and sweet. It has a real wine character to it with lots of dark fruit and berries. A desert whisky for me.
Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky ABV: 45%
This whisky is thick, viscous and uncoloured. The flavour is unmistakably Rampur. Sweet caramels and tobacco were dominant, and boy do I love tobacco notes in a whisky. A light easy finish which would be a great evening sipper.
Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky ABV: 45%
I was really looking forward to try this and it didn’t disappoint. Finished in Indian wine casks, the first Indian whisky of this type. A red tint dominate the glass and dark cherry and chocolate develop on the palate. A dry leathery finish with some red grape and stoned fruits.
All the whisky tasted in the event shared the Rampur signature DNA and base flavour but all four samples had their own distinguishable characteristics. Each one unique and definitely worth checking out.