The year 2022 had got me dwelling in a broader range of world whiskies than ever before, most of which have either been more local or more ethnically inclined, this week being an extension to the latter, exploring another whisky from the Indian Subcontinent.
The Indri was 2021s foray both locally and internationally from the Picadilly distillery. This is also the same distillery that released the Kamet a while ago – a stellar whisky in itself, one that exhuberated vibrancy and flavour.
The Picadilly distillery is relatively new, though they’ve been in the distribution business since the late 1950s. In 2009 they procured american barrels to start their whisky journey albeit to age grain neutral spirits made from sugar cane (buffer whisky as I like to call it). And it was by 2018 they began phasing out the production of grain neutral spirits with a more authentic scottish style approach towards whisky production. The distillery currently houses 6 copper pot stills, split equally between wash and spirit stills, producing around 4 million litres annually – one of the largest whisky producers in the country.
Situated at Indri, close to the foothills of the Himalayas, the whisky takes inspiration from the Sanskrit word Indris or Indriya, meaning senses. The expression leverages three kinds of wood for maturing their whisky and hence references of ‘trini‘ meaning “three” in their branding. As is typical of most sub continental whiskies, the distillery uses six row barley. The barley once malted is dried in kilns using peat, mashed and mixed with water to kick start the fermentation process. The resulting wort is then allowed to ferment till it hits a strength of 6-8% alcohol. The wash is then double distilled, matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-Pedro Ximenes and ex-wine casks to be blended and bottled at the distillery.
ABV : 46%
Eye : Burnished | Non Chill Filtered, Natural Colouring
Nose : Caramel infused with an almost truffle like nuance, along with butter and a strong oaky-pine character. Vanilla sponge cake with subtle honeyed notes, charred melons interleaved with raisins, dried fruits, stone fruits along with hints of cinnamon, sundried tomatoes and traces of ginger shards.
Taste : Starts rich – Caramel toffee, cherries and vanilla with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of raisins. Charred melons though not too sweet, are accompanied with dried fruits and fruity notes, trailed by hints of earth and cinnamon spice.
Finish : Vanilla, cloves and cinnamon, red wine with a touch of oak
The whisky is vibrant with so many shades and hues; the multiple maturation showcases very well and gives layers of oomph. There’s a good fusion of spice and sweetness, the latter almost cupping you instantly; representing good complexity and depth. This is surely a whisky that stands above most, but in my opinion could have transcended higher. Possibly a bit rough around the edges, a bit more subtleness, some added time with the casks would have gifted it greatness!
At less than INR 4k (AUD $75) this is a great VFM whisky giving a run for its money; keeping in mind that for an Asian whisky this is well priced. A bit expensive compared to most scotch and bourbons only because of import taxes and the effects of increased evaporation, meaning less volume over time.
All in all, I can’t really critic with this one as much, as it delivers a lovely experience with its charm, albeit mildly young character.