This is our third round with India’s Rampur whisky, and I can assure you up front of its distinct uniqueness. The single malt carries no formal age statement, but it’s a double casked expression, spending the bulk of its time in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Indian Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks. Rampur says that’s a first in history, and I have to believe them on this one.
The whisky is immediately approachable and fun — unique but not so “out there” as to be inscrutable. Initially fruity and toasty with cereal on the nose — much in keeping with Rampur’s house style — the whisky layers in a hint of camphor and white flowers, giving it a much more perfumed character than other whiskies from the brand. That all builds on the tongue to inform a surprisingly sweet body, sharp with cherry juice, applesauce, and apricots, layered atop a honey-laced core. It’s gently tannic and surprisingly savory on the back end — which I have to assume is due to the impact of the wine barrel — and offers notes of both cut lumber and fresh asphalt, drying things out as it finishes.
The overall impact intense and exotic yet elegant, a whisky that takes a real journey from floral and sweet to gently woody and earthy and keeps you glued to the ride. It’s easily the best whisky I’ve seen from Rampur to date, and one of the best and most complex Indian whiskies I’ve seen to date.
A- / $90 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]