The Indian appetite for all things smoke and oak has led to the creation of several smooth single malts. The latest on this list – GianChand – comes from the home of some of the oldest malts in the country. Here’s looking at what each pour brings with it.

As one of the world’s largest consumers of whisky in the world, India boasts of an eclectic collection of single malts. This includes homegrown brands, many of whom pay homage to the country’s diverse landscape and culture through their expressions. Easy on the palate as well as the pocket, there are numerous flavour notes to savour – from fruity to floral. Best part? This list grows longer every single day. The new kid on the block GianChand is courtesy of DeVans Modern Breweries – a brand that has nearly 60 years of production to its name.

Indian single malt GianChand features notes of fruit and chocolate

GianChand calls Jammu its home – a region in the lap of the Himalayas that’s known to be favourable for the production of whisky. In line with this, each pour is a homage to local traditions and folklore – which date back to nearly 3,000 years. The amber is also a nod to the founder of the company, Dewan Gian Chand, who envisioned high standards for quality for malts. Over the years, the company honed its distillation and maturation techniques, ensuring ideal conditions for flavour development. Several gigantic copper pot stills that hold up to 25,000 litres help them do this.

Indian single malt

Single malts in India mature faster than their Scottish counterparts. This, owing to the region’s weather conditions. Bottles produced here often do not feature age statements, with malts requiring only a few years – minimum of three in oak casks – to be deemed ideal for an on-the-rocks ritual. Elaborating on this, Prem Dewan, Chairman & Managing Director of DeVANS stated, “The maximum appropriate maturity for Indian malts is about five to six years, post which they tend to get too woody due to the very hot weather in the country, especially during the summer.” He further added, “The climatic and geographical conditions in Jammu are ideal for maturation of malt spirits despite the heat and this is the USP of this creation.” GianChand is matured in American oakwood bourbon barrels.

Each sip comes with a fruity, pineapple-drop sweetness – complete with notes of vanilla, bitter chocolate, and white pepper. On the nose are hints of gingerbread, apricots, and prunes. Barley and oak, meanwhile, increase the complexity of flavour. Creamy, with a long and dry finish – this delicate premium malt is as smooth as they come. A peated version, reportedly, is in the making as well. This whisky most certainly hints at India’s steady relationship with malts. In fact, as per a report by Moneycontrol, sales of Indian single malts have shot up considerably – a whooping 30 percent in the market with brands selling far more bottles within the subcontinent than anywhere else.

GianChand has been released in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Delhi. It’s currently priced at Rs 4,490 and will soon head over to stores across at least 10 states. For more information, head here.

All images: Courtesy brand

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India