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June 17, 2024

World Whisky Day: Whisky experts tell us which is their favourite dram

Pooja Patel

Ever wondered what kind of whisky do the people of the F&B sector like? What do mixologists, chefs and restauranteurs, who, on almost a daily basis experiment with drinks like to drink when they unwind? On World Whisky Day, we ask the top guns of the industry which is their favourite whisky.
Vikram Achanta, Co-Founder, 30 Best Bars India

“For me, whisky is a mix of emotions and experiences. I’ll never forget my visit to the Isle of Jura in a remote corner of Scotland in 2007. On reaching Islay, we took a coach to a ferry station, and then sailed to the Isle of Jura, continuing our journey to the distillery. It was a rainy, windy day as many days in Scotland are, especially on the islands. I remember cherishing the Isle of Jura 10yo, standing on a pier and enjoying the light showers and the gentle breeze. That was one of my best whisky drinking experiences.”
Shatbhi Basu, Mixologist, Beverage Consultant & Author
“My favourite Indian whisky is Paul John Single Malt Christmas Edition 2018. It’s just super delicious and so Christmassy. Lots of fruit, orange marmalade and gentle spice. Perfect with a slice of fruit cake and vintage cheddar. My whisky on a hard day is either a Jim Beam Black or Maker’s Mark. Warm, sweet and edgy, it instantly makes you feel better. After one drink it feels like you can face anything. The one I keep going back to, my comfort whisky is Talisker 10. It’s that perfect balance of unctuous fruit with a whoosh of peaty smoke to finish, like listening to the waves break. Fills your mouth with flavour and your soul with joy.”
Keshav Prakash, Founder-Director, vaultfinespirits.com
“I have this notion that the day I pick a favourite label is the day I will stop loving my favourite spirit. And I love whisky too much to do that! However, these are the whiskies that I am enjoying currently—Ledaig, Very Cloudy; Aerolite Lyndsay; Compass Box Hedonism and That Boutique-Y Whisky Company’s Octomore 6.”
Rachel Goenka CEO & Founder of The Chocolate Spoon Company
“I am particularly fond of peaty Islay Malts, and my all-time favourite is Cao Isla. It is exceedingly smooth on the palate and has an intense and rich nose. The finish is complex and its the perfect amount ‘smokey’ while not being overly peat-heavy.”
Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd.
“One of my recent favourites is Hatozaki Small Batch Japanese Whisky. It’s been on the shelves in the US for over a year and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bottle just before the lockdown last year. What intrigues me the most about this whisky is that it has been named after the oldest, stone lighthouse in Japan. It’s a perfect pour with subtle tones of rich malted grains and has a unique sweetness with a smoky undertone. What I love about it is that it goes perfectly with two of my favourite cuisines—Indian and Japanese. Be it my favourite Raan or a sashimi, this whisky pairs well.”
Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & Founder, All Things Nice

“It is very difficult to pick just one, as my preference varies depending on my mood or even the season and location. However, the one single malt that I enjoy these days is the Aberlour 16 YO Double Cask from Speyside in Scotland. The spirit is aged simultaneously in American oak and ex-sherry casks and then blended before bottling. The whisky is beautifully sherried with raisin fruit sweetness with spice from the wood, and has a very long finish. I think this whisky is just right in terms of its slightly syrupy texture too.”
Vinayak Singh, Co-Founder, The Dram Club
“What I choose to drink usually depends on my mood. But the whisky I will always have fond memories of is the Glenmorangie Signet. I love my coffee, and this whisky too has an interesting coffee story. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of distilling, whisky creation and stocks, too loves coffee and went on to create a whisky that has notes of mocha and espresso. Glenmorangie Signet is a whisky I’ll always have in my bar. It has gorgeous packaging, a gorgeous looking bottle, and is a gorgeous liquid.”
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