India’s emerging hard liquor and wine market has seen many brands gain world-wide recognition. Distilleries such as United Spirits has gained a reputation and recognition as one of the top spirits manufacturers in the world. Although there are several brands available in the country, there are a select few brands which are gaining wide-spread acclaim for its hard liquor. The following four brands of spirits have helped bring notoriety and attention to the spirits and liquor produced in India and has placed the country’s manufacturers in front of a world-wide audience.
One of India’s most famous single malt whiskey, Amrut has a distinct and glorious reputation among the whiskey drinkers of the world. Named the third best single malt whiskey in the world by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, a reputed whiskey guide, Amrut’s beginning could be traced back all the way to 1948. The company manufactured hard liquor over the years and jumped into the whiskey game in 2004, and that too in Scotland. Although Amrut whiskey has a widely recognised name in most countries, locally, it is still pretty difficult to find. Currently Amrut has 11 variants of its single-malt whiskey available world-wide and if you are in Bengaluru or Goa, you might be able to pick up a bottle of the elusive whiskey.
2. Paul John Single Malt
John Distilleries’ was first setup in Bengaluru by Paul P. John and produces the renowned Paul John Single Malt whiskey, Paul John Brilliance and Paul John Edited. The single malt distillery in Goa produces the different variants and over the years, it has accrued several awards, including the Liquid Gold award in the aforementioned Whiskey Bible. The Paul John Single Malt whiskey was officially launched in London in 2012 but, similarly to Amrut, is only available in Goa and Karnataka. Although there are plans to launch the products in Mumbai and Delhi in 2016, currently, it is as elusive in India as Amrut.
From Whiskey to Tequila, DesmondJi is one of the few agave based tequila products in the country. While researching about agave, the main ingredient in tequila, Desmond Nazreth came across agave in the Deccan plateu. The desire to produce authentic tequila in India inspired Desmond to establish Agave India, a micro-distillery, which produces five agave-based spirits, 100% Agave, 51% Agave Gold (Oak Finish), 51% Agave, Margarita and Blue Margarita blend. Currently, the Agave-based spirit is produced in the distilleries located in Andhra Pradesh and is bottled and packaged in Goa. Unfortunately, due to technicalities in the indication system, DesmondJi cannot be classified as tequila, since spirits produced in Mexico alone can use that moniker, but, that doesn’t stop DesmondJi from selling nearly 10,000 cases per year and turning into the top agave-based spirit producer in the country.
4. Soul Tree Wines
One of the Indian based wines to win an coveted award at the International Wine Challenge held last year in London, the UK-based Soul Tree wines is one of the emerging wine producers in the world. Manufactured in Nashik, the country’s wine capital, Soul Tree was founded by London-based wine producers Melvyn D’Souza and Alok Mathur. Soul Tree’s reputation for exquisite wine is well-known in the UK, where it was launched first and across many countries in the Europe. Although produced in India, Soul Tree is currently not available in the Indian market but according to the founders, there are plans to target the emerging Indian wine market in the near future.