The Indian craft whisky market has finally been catered to with a whisky that comes with an Indian Master Blender’s signature, a personalised nod to the connoisseurs of true craft.
United Spirits Limited (USL), owned by British Diageo Plc, has embarked its way into the craft spirit market, which has perpetually gained fame among India’s youthful, inner-city aficionados.
Craft spirits are defined as the produce that is made under 7,50,000 gallons each year. Epitome Reserve is India’s first ever small batch, artisanal craft ,100% rice whisky.
Only 2,000 such bottles have been made available by USL in the first batch as it is focusing more on premium products that offer quality and fetch better margins rather than mass market ones which may hype up on volume but grasp thin margins.
The scrupulous blend is made from rice rooted in Punjab and is distilled in the northern state itself. Post distillation it travels 2000 kilometres south-west towards Goa, where it is matured in bourbon casks over 3 years and then finished in Sherry and Cherrywood casks in a 50 year old warehouse. The whisky offers an essence of sweet toffee caramel , dried fruits , butterscotch, vanilla and some subtle easy spice. All these flavours are held together by a woody aroma which matches perfectly with crafts zeal and portrait. The liquid is enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a dash of water. The master blend will be available in limited outlets of Mumbai. Goa, Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR.
“Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen that consumers—in the absence of being able to travel or socialise or go out and have the best food and beverage experiences—have been experimenting with premium spirits at home with do-it-yourself or DIY experiences. That has become part of small, intimate celebrations and they are just savouring and experiencing new kinds of liquids” said Deepika Warrier, the Chief Marketing Officer, Diageo India.
This finest quality of domestic produce is a major boost to India’s craft whisky market, and offers big time for the one’s sitting on top of Countries sipping pyramid.
Warrier added, ” This consumer is of course looking for world-class experiences, which is why you see global brands and our premium offerings from around the world, seeing very rapid growth, particularly over the last year or so in India. There’s also this growing desire for more local produce, local flavors and ingredients, and a sense of pride in the Indian craftsmanship.”
Epitome Reserve comes in an superlative and keen handcrafted maple wood pack that brings to life the ethos of the Banyan Tree, with subliminal shades of green and teal.
The crafts people are honoured by Diageo India by carrying the names of makers behind this game-changing whisky on the back.
India has embraced the concept of craft beverages, it all started with beers in the top tier cities and now is covering up on the more intense segments like gin and whisky.