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Issue 121 - India's Finest Whisky Bars

Whisky Magazine Issue 121
July 2014


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India's Finest Whisky Bars

Our man in India gives us his recommendations

I can still remember going to the The Oberoi, in early 80s with family friends. Alighting from the car, we went towards the restaurant, looking forward to a great weekend meal. As we sipped Campa Cola or Gold Spot in the restaurant, the menfolk would disappear behind another door, to return after 40 minutes or so. They smelt nicer, seemed happier and mentioned names like VAT 69, Passport and Dimple… At that time, none of these registered with me, though I knew that they had partaken of a pleasure only meant for adults.

Over the years, through the 90s and early 2000s, I got familiar with whisky having seen friends and family enjoy it with soda or water, kebabs or curries, in summer and more in winter, at homes or at hotel bars, just by themselves or with friends; each time with equal amount of joy and generosity. Interestingly, it was only and always whisky, the omnipresent signature beverage that we Indians love, enjoy and drink more than all else in the world.

With changing times, traditional restaurant bars – the erstwhile Maikhana's, have given way to glitzy whisky bars offering whisky, but not just whisky… Whisky across singe malts and blends. Younger variants and rare reserves, special blends to private labels, Scotch to Bourbon, Japanese to Irish, the choice is endless. These changing moments have also given rise to higher regard, respect and recognition for whisky as a category and purveyors of this golden nectar, are treating it with more care and responsib...

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