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Best new bottles of whiskey that have raised the bar for malts this 2023

For connoisseurs of all things smoke and oak, 2023 has brought with it the best, most exquisite whiskey options. We’re talking single malts that sing with notes of the forest, creamy ambers that pay homage to India’s mythical character, and toffee-hued pours that celebrate all things caffeinated. Here’s a look at all the new and unique usquebaughs on our radar.

In the world of barrel-aged boozy libations, innovation is the name of the game. And in a country like India – which can’t get enough of its Scotches and single malts – the options are that much more eclectic and exciting. 2023, in particular, has brought with it all-new whiskey releases from some of the best brands in the business. Featuring unique production techniques and exquisite ingredients – the flavour notes of the year range from fruity and floral to creamy and complex. Throw in hints of coffee, chocolate, peppermint, and pine and you’ve got yourself a sipping experience worth remembering. Whether you’re a connoisseur looking for the next addition to their bar or a whisky enthusiast keen on discovering new drams – here’s our pick of bottles worth investing in.

Check out our complete guide to whiskies in India

Best bottles of 2023: New whiskey options for your home bar

Indri Dru

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

From the brand that gave India an award-winning three-wood single malt from the foothills of the Himalayas comes this cask-strength expression that’s rich and flavourful. Indri Dru features handpicked ex-Bourbon barrels that are fused together by master blender Surrinder Kumar. The name ‘Dru’ is a reference to the Sanskrit word for a vessel made of wood, which – according to mythology – was used to offer ‘soma’ (a drink) to the gods. As such, every sip is heavenly with notes of fruit, spice, sweet vanilla, chocolate, and citrus. On the nose are hints of honey and wood. The finish, meanwhile, is long, complex, and smooth.

Price: On request.

Chivas Regal ULTIS XX

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

As one of the oldest luxury Scotch names in the world, Chivas Regal is an icon in its own right. The ULTIS XX lives up to this reputation. It features a blend of five exceptional 20-year-old single malts from the popular malt region of Speyside in Scotland. This is then distilled in copper stills exclusively. Every sip comes with notes of blossom honey, poached pear, and milk chocolate. On the nose, meanwhile, are hints of raspberry jam, red apples, vanilla, and sweet butter toffee. The finish is long and sweet.

Price: INR 21,200 approx.

The Macallan Harmony Collection Smooth Arabica

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

With some of the world’s most coveted bottles to its name, Macallan promises a luxurious sipping experience. The limited-release Harmony Collection Smooth Arabica is no exception. A celebration of caffeine – particularly Ethiopian Arabica coffee beans – its packaging features repurposed coffee bean husks. Created to be paired with a cup of ‘Joe, the dram was aged in a combination of American and European oak casks. It pours toffee with every sip being reminiscent of raisins, gently-spiced Americano, cherries, walnuts, and vanilla. On the nose are hints of ground coffee, toffee, and sweet oak. The finish is sweet and creamy.

Price: INR 16,000 approx.

Glenmorangie A Tale Of The Forest

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

From the house of some of the world’s most smooth single malts comes this fascinating new expression that pays homage to the scents, sounds, and sights of the forest. Reviving the age-old technique of kilning barley with botanicals – the malt features juniper berries, birch bark, heather flowers and peat and is aged in bourbon casks (including refill casks). The payoff? A rich, deep sip with bursts of peppermint, eucalyptus, bitter orange, vanilla, and liquorice. On the nose are hints of pine, juniper, coriander, roasted chestnut, and smoke. The finish is gentle and oaky. The packaging, meanwhile, is vibrant, with illustrator Pomme Chan bringing her fantasy of the woods to life.

Price: INR 12,000 approx.

Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

Having been in the business of malts since 1815, Ardbeg is known for quality, smooth sips. The
Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition takes whiskey aficionados on a delicious journey across the world. It marries the brand’s signature American oak cask with Manzanilla sherry casks from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on Spain’s Atlantic coast. The payoff is a pale gold, aromatic pour with hints of saddle soap, pine resin, Brazil nuts, smoke, and salt. You might even discover notes of dark chocolate, aniseed, and leather. The finish, meanwhile, is medium with a touch of citrus.

Price: INR 8,000 approx.

Johnnie Walker Blonde

Best new whiskey in the world 2023

From a brand that’s home to one of the world’s best Scotch whiskey comes a bottle that promises a bright, breezy sipping experience. Johnnie Walker Blonde is a departure from the deep, intense notes that its classic rendition is often associated with. It caters to a younger set of malt enthusiasts. As such, it’s aged in first-fill American oak casks, is well-rounded and comes with a fruity quality – courtesy of whiskies from Cardhu. As such, it lends itself well to being paired with citrus mixers and other cocktails.

Price: INR 3,000 approx.

Each of these whiskey options have released in 2023 and promise to help you curate the best bar at home. Which do you see yourself picking up on your next run to the alcohol store?

All images: Courtesy brands

Best new bottles of whiskey that have raised the bar for malts this 2023

Eshita is a food, alcohol, travel, and entertainment writer who spends her days zeroing in on the next big trend to write about. She’s a communication graduate with bylines in Conde Nast Traveller India, GQ India, Deccan Herald, and Girls Buzz. When not at work, you’re likely to find her hunting for a good read or charting out the perfect itinerary for a solo trip across Asia.


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