Beyond barfis and stacks of playing cards – the perfect way to ring in the festival of lights is with a glass of something smooth and smoky. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect Diwali gift or just need an excuse to spruce up your whiskey stash, we’ve got a few new launches and limited-edition options on our radar that are a must-sip.
A delicious accompaniment to plates of samosas and a classic addition to most festive food hampers – you can’t go wrong with whiskey this Diwali. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to attend a party that doesn’t have a bottle (or two) being passed around or sitting pretty at the cocktail table. Naturally, brands have arrived to the occasion with all-new expressions and festive offerings. Best part? Each of these malts come from the biggest names in the business, complete with the promise of an exquisite sipping experience. Here’s what you should be adding to your malt repertoire.
Check out our complete guide on whiskies in India
Toast to Diwali with these stunning bottles of whiskey
Glenmorangie Single Malt
From the house of some of the world’s most smooth single malts comes this vibrant, limited-edition malt that’s been created – for the first time ever – in partnership with Indian artist Aniruddh Mehta (The Big Fat Minimalist). On offer are elements intricately tied to the fabric of Indian celebrations – complete with lanterns and flowers in abstract articulation. Speaking to this, the artist noted, “The most picturesque part of Diwali is when the cityscapes are draped in beautiful decorative lights and homes are adorned with colourful rangolis,” before adding “We have reimagined these iconic celebratory elements with a vibrant colour palette inspired by Glenmorangie’s vibrant coloured imagery.” Best part? The whisky is their flagship 10-year-old expression that comes with notes of citrus, peach, toffee and vanilla. We can’t think of a better gifting option this celebratory season.
Price: Rs 5,990 approx.
The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old
In the business since 1824, Macallan knows a thing or two about fine single malts. This particular expression fuses their classic style of rich fruits and wood spice with American and European sherry-seasoned oak casks. The payoff is a well-rounded, warm amber that features the aroma of toffee apple, candied orange, and vanilla custard. Every sip, meanwhile, is reminiscent of citrus, honey, raisins, and caramel with a sweet and drying finish. Pair this creamy malt with salty snacks at the party table. After all, it’s a true classic when it comes to Diwali drinking.
Price: Rs 7,990 approx.
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old
Culturally, perhaps one of the most defining aspects of Diwali is the fact that families spend days shopping for new things – clothes, jewellery, utensils, and lamps. Naturally, there was no better time than now for the renowned Ardbeg to debut its rare, limited-batch 4 of Traig Bhan in India – one of the oldest expressions accessible in India. Produced in small batches, this malt is matured with a higher proportion of Oloroso sherry casks – resulting in notes of chocolate and raisin that adds to its mentholic character. On the nose are hints of pine, fennel, and citrus. Each sip, meanwhile, is reminiscent of peanut brittle, raisin fudge, hazelnut, aniseed, and white pepper. Each whisky carries its own unique batch code. When it comes to gifting, it doesn’t get more exquisite than this. You could get your hands on one at travel retail outlets at Mumbai and Delhi international airports.
Price: Rs 24,000 approx.
Rampur Double Cask
A Diwali roundup would be incomplete without a classic Indian single malt. And who better to do the honours than a brand that’s known world over for capturing the heritage of India’s yesteryear royalty? The 75-year-old Rampur Distillery is home to the most elegant drams in the country – each produced in old-world copper pots in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Double Cask expression is hand-crafted and aged in American bourbon barrels and European oak sherry casks. Every sip comes with hints of rich sherry while the aroma is distinctly that of tropical fruits and oak. If indulgence is what you seek this Diwali, look no further than this option.
Price: Rs 8,000 approx.
The Famous Grouse
Known as Scotland’s most popular whisky, The Famous Grouse has a limited-edition celebration pack in store this festive season. On offer is the signature expression – a blend of the finest malts and grain whiskies that pours a bright, full golden. On the nose are hints of candied fruits, shortbread, and citrus. Each sip is reminiscent of dried fruits, cinnamon, ginger, and wood. The finish, meanwhile, is smooth and well-balanced. This comes with a glass, a set of hanging diyas, and a package in radiant red and gold. If that doesn’t spell Diwali, we don’t know what does.
Price: Rs 1,100 approx.
Adding a touch of affordable homegrown goodness to this roundup is this new Indian whisky that comes from Blisswater Industries of the Rahasya vodka fame. The premium malt represents cosmic power, benevolence, and prosperity. It infuses extracts from the mystical Soma plant with Highland Scotch that’s been aged 5 years in American oak. During production, the whisky is charcoal filtered. The payoff? Smoky finish and a refined texture. Each sip is reminiscent of honey and dates as well. This dance between ancient Indian heritage and modern sensibilities just so happens to perfectly represent how festivals are now celebrated across cities. Naturally, this whiskey is worth bringing to your Diwali party. At the moment, you can grab a bottle in Goa.
Price: Rs 1,350