Traditional whiskies distilled from cereals only account for 10 to 12% of the market. Indian whiskies are fruity and malty- with flavours of tropical fruit and toffee, with some peaty expressions too.
India’s hot climate increases the speed of maturation and increases the amount of evaporation from each barrel to 12% each year. Therefore, Indian whiskies tend to be much younger than Scotch or Irish whiskies.
Indian Whisky Requirements
You might not immediately think of India as a large Whisky Region, but whisky is big business in India. Indians are the biggest consumer of whisky in the world by volume. Producing a lot domestically and are Scotlands second-biggest export market (behind the whole of Europe)- importing 50m bottles of Scotch each year.
However, that doesn’t tell the full story of Indian Whisky.
The definition of ‘whisky’ in India is loose at best, and very little Indian ‘whisky’ would qualify as whisky elsewhere in the world. Much of the whisky produced is distilled from molasses or neutral alcohol, which produces a spirit similar to what we would call Rum. However, in India, these are labelled and sold as whisky and are much cheaper to produce than traditional whisky from cereals like barley, wheat or corn.