Have you tried this new Indian single malt whisky yet?


After Amrut and Paul John, there’s another Indian single malt whisky that’s coming to town. From the makers of Jin Jiji—a newly-released cashew gin from Goa—comes Kamet, an Indian single malt whisky that celebrates its provenance. While it’s inspired by Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, one of the highest peaks in the country, Kamet draws on local motifs and characters such as the Indian parrot, an important part of the culture in the villages surrounding the distillery near Kurukshetra.

“We consider India to be one of the greatest places in the world to produce single malt whisky, given our unique six-row barley and ageing conditions,” Ansh Khanna, co-founder of Peak Spirits that owns the two labels, tells Condé Nast Traveller. “We had been working on the single malt much before Jin JiJi. Given the ageing requirements, the journey to launch is much longer.”

Using the local six-row barley, the whisky is distilled in copper pot stills and matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon American Oak, ex-wine French Oak and ex-Sherry casks. This gives the single malt a vinous touch, as most single malts use only ex-Bourbon casks for their standard expressions.

Drawing from the learnings of its team of whisky veterans, Surrinder Kumar and Nancy Fraley, Kamet is in good hands. Khanna says that Kamet is “a duet” between the two: Kumar, Kamet’s master blender, is one of India’s most renowned whisky personalities. He previously served as Master Blender for Amrut, founding and spearheading their single malt programme. Fraley is one of America’s foremost whisky blenders, having worked with numerous distilleries around the US. She serves as the Director of Education for the American Distilling Institute. 

What does it taste like?

“Most whisky produced in India can’t be classified as whisky as per international standards since they are made from molasses (technically, rum) and not matured for an adequate period,” Khanna explains. “Our wide usage of ex-wine casks from France is first-in-industry. We are proud to be one of the few making high-quality single malt whisky in the country.”

Thanks to the wine, bourbon and sherry casks, Kamet has a fruity aroma profile with oaky spice forward notes, complemented with vanilla, caramel and subtle raisins with nutty and sweet dark chocolate on top notes. On the palate, it exhibits a melted concoction of fresh and dried fruit notes with subtle hints of oaky vanilla, spice and dark chocolate. Kamet has a long, warm complex nutty finish with a balanced dry and sherried sweetness. Khanna recommends the whisky be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a splash of water.

Kamet will be available in Goa, Europe and the US in early 2021. Rs2,699 in Goa



Updated: December 21, 2020 — 6:02 am

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