We first reviewed Rampur Select when it was new to U.S. shores in 2019, a few years after its 2016 introduction in its home country of India. After tons of awards and fandom, the single malt — made from 100% Indian barley and aged exclusively in first fill bourbon barrels — was “reintroduced” as a 2022 limited edition called Vintage Select. It’s unclear how this expression is different from the standard Rampur Select, but we’ll take a run at it all the same.
The nose is bold and peppery, evoking spices that one might be tempted to credit to India. Heady notes of fresh flowers again evoke incense, orange blossoms, and again a hint of camphor. The more straightforward grain character of Select is absent here, replaced with notes of brown banana and some red pepper notes.
The palate carries much of the same quality — slightly astringent and oxidized, with notes of incense, more camphor, and Meyer lemon peel. Stronger granary-driven notes mingle with some spice, pushing on to lavender and linen notes on the finish. Rather heavy on the whole, the fade-out offers a mix of overripe fruit, incense, and black tea, sharp as could be for quite a while.
I don’t have a sample of the standard Rampur Select to compare against, but my tasting notes line up almost exactly with the Vintage Select version. At double the price, you’re probably fine with the OG bottling, which should still be readily available.
B / $120