Whiskey review: Rampur Double Cask


Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Rampur Distillery. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final result of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link near the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Diamonds can be forever, or a girl’s best friend, but they also come in whiskey form when it comes to Rampur Single Malt whiskeys. It’s called the “Kohinoor of Single Malts” in reference to this famous diamond, but a bottle probably won’t stay on your shelf that long.

Rampur Distillery is India’s oldest distillery, starting in 1943. The brand produces exclusively single malt whiskeys, all distilled in copper stills. One of the main advantages of the distillery is the unique climate that India offers. The high temperatures age the whiskey much faster than the cold climates of northern Europe or even the southern United States. This way, great tasting whiskey can be made much faster, but at a price: Angels are getting more than their fair share of the business.

But then Rampur specifically has another element in play – the cold. The location of the distillery in Uttar Pradesh is at the foot of the Himalayan mountain range and can see extremely cold temperatures. The wide range adds complexity to the whiskey that is not an option for whiskeys distilled in more consistent climates.

Rampur Distillery has grown to become Radico Khaitan, a large spirits maker making “Indian-made foreign spirits”. The distillery makes alcohol from molasses, grain and malt barley, and the company markets a variety of spirits under several different brands. The distillery itself is considered environmentally friendly, using methods such as an effluent treatment plant, cogeneration plants and upstream integration.

Rampur Double Cask is the distillery’s newest expression, or as they call it, the newest “gem”. This single malt was aged in ex-bourbon casks for two-thirds of the maturation period, then in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. According to Radico Khaitan chairman Sanjeev Banga, in a prepared statement, sipping that phrase “takes you to spring in India, when the flowers start to bloom and the spices are plentiful in the wind – a truly immersive experience.” Double Cask joins the ranks of Rampur Select, Rampur PX and Rampur Asava.

Rampur Double Cask (image via Talia Gragg)

Tasting Notes: Rampur Double Cask

Vital Statistics: 90 Proof, 45% ABV, 100% malted barley, Aged in American bourbon barrels and European oak Sherry barrels, 750 ml, $ 91. Uttar Pradesh, India.

Appearance: Ocher with a touch of caramel, very little, evenly spaced legs.

Nose: Crispy pears appear first, then cool slightly in alpine herbs and a sort of piny-ness. A slightly sour note follows, turning into animal musk on the exit.

Palace: Fine and light, very juicy. A strong and fresh peach appears and develops in fruity, but approaches the dried fruits, the pineapple in evidence. Dried fruits add the intensity of very ripe fruits. A final touch of creamy vanilla bean slowly comes out, bringing back some of the juiciness and leaving a lingering pomelo taste.

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Whiskey Review: Guidance Small Batch American Whiskey

If you don’t drink Indian whiskey, you should. It is absolutely delicious. Although scotch-style, there are some flavors that you won’t find in scotch as often. It is also remarkably drinkable. I would take this whiskey on diamonds any day.

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