The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has released single casks from an Indian distillery for the first time in mission to explore the spectrum of flavours in whisky


Reading Time: 3 minutes

The SMWS has added another new number to our roster of releases, with the bottling of two new Indian single cask malts from a prominent distillery in Goa.  The distillery becomes the 134th to be bottled by the Society, and marks the first time we have bottled from this distillery, which rarely releases aged single cask, single malts.

Cask No. 134.1 Exotic rainforest fruits and Cask No. 134.2 Lip-smacking and cockle-warming are both six years old and were matured in refill ex-bourbon casks. The bottles are priced at £145 and will be available to members via a ballot from Thursday, 19 October.

Cask No. 134.1 Exotic rainforest fruits is one of 174 bottles drawn from the single cask. It was distilled on 28 February 2010 and is released under the Society’s Sweet, Fruity & Mellow flavour profile. Our Tasting Panel describes the whisky as taking the drinker “into the realms of the exotic with a profusion of tropical fruits combined with the woody humidity of a rainforest”.

Cask No. 134.2 Lip-smacking and cockle-warming is one of 168 bottles, and was distilled on 31 March 2010. The Tasting Panel gives it a Juicy Oak & Vanilla flavour profile and describe it as having flavours of “caramel apple granny cake in a wooden cabinet, toasted coconut and pears in honey”.

Distillery 134 is located in Goa on the western coast of India. The warm, tropical climate of the region, where the average temperature reaches up to 30°C, has a significant impact on the whisky maturation process.

While the casks are stored in an underground temperature-controlled cellar, the heat makes the whisky mature faster than it would in colder climates such as Scotland. It also leads to an angels’ share of around eight per cent a year compared to around two per cent in Scotland. That level of evaporation makes it difficult to mature the whisky for longer periods, making the six-year-old bottlings exceptionally rare.

This combination of temperature combined with maturation in American white oak casks gives the whiskies distinct flavours such as spices, marmalade, chocolate, coconut, dry fruit, vanilla and honey.

Kai Ivalo, spirits director at the Society, said: “Our aim at the Society is to search the world for exciting single casks to share with our members. These two casks from Goa are perfect examples – it’s fascinating to see how the different climate and faster maturation process there has created such an amazing range of juicy, sweet and spicy flavours. This is the first time we’ve bottled from distillery 134 and we can’t wait to hear the feedback from our members.”

For more on Cask No. 134.1 Exotic rainforest fruits and Cask No. 134.2 Lip-smacking and cockle-warming, check out SMWS ambassador Marcus Parmenter’s take on it here:

Cask No. 134.1 Exotic rainforest fruits and Cask No. 134.2 Lip-smacking and cockle-warming will be released in the UK and EU on 19 October. Due to the high demand anticipated for these new releases, we are holding a ballot to ensure all members have an equal opportunity to purchase. Other key SMWS branches such as Australia and the US will launch the bottles later in 2017.

Give us a follow or like us!