Whisky Lady in India celebrates 300 posts!

At 300 posts, clearly “Whisky Lady in India” is more than just a passing fancy… And while I remain an ‘avid amateur,’ decided it was time to ‘grow up’ and graduate to a real live ‘adult’ and ‘official’ domain…

So please join me in welcoming….

WhiskyLady.coWhisky Ladies 1st Anniversary - Padmini

The focus will still remain on sharing tasting notes from all the wonderful whiskies we manage to bring into India, augmented by a scattering of whisky adventures in other locales.

Most of all… for those that have been part of this journey – Thank you!!

None of this would have been possible without my fellow merry malt adventurers in the Mumbai whisky clubs, miniatures tastings, plus whisky bloggers kind enough to share a sample (or a dozen!). Sprinkle in a few events, complimentary drams, a whisky evening here or there and you have yourself three-oh-oh posts!

Over the next few months, you may see a few changes… starting with new pages featuring whiskies with tasting note links by categories:

Thanks for tuning in, commenting, sharing and more!

PS If you already access Whisky Lady using the wordpress URL, it should redirect. Any challenges, just email me at info [at] everydayasia [dot] com.

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Dailuaine (2002/2013) 46%

Last in our experimental evening was another whisky you don’t often get to try as a single malt. If you are Johnnie Walker fan, you’ve had Dailuaine without even realizing it!

The folks over at Diageo describe Dailuaine as a “A complex whisky that can impress mightily.” Considered a Diageo ‘workhorses’, the distillery name is taken from the gaelic ‘dail uaine’ meaning green valley.

However you won’t often find this whisky outside of independent bottlers. Currently there is only the Dailuaine 16 year, part of the Flora and Fauna series, available as an official bottling.


Dailuaine 10 year (2002/2013) 46%

Distilled 30 May 2002, Bottled Aug 2013, Cask No 7068, Bottle No 382, Sherry Hogshead, Gordon & MacPhail Reserve, bottled for La Maison du Whisky

We sampled it blind… and what did we find?

  • Nose – Cherry, prunes, soaked rum, very dense, tight with concentrated aromas, wood, leather book, dry spice, apple, pungent, sweet
  • Palate – Very full, creamy, rounded…. pronounced “a proper whisky”, black chewy liquorice, oily fat and full, gorgeous Christmas spices, cupcakes, coffee, toffee, a hint of toasted nuts
  • Finish – Such a lovely finish, rich spice with more coffee, liquorice, cinnamon. One of those rare finishes that just keeps on keeping you company for a long time… where a little goes a long way
  • Water – Caution… don’t add too much. Just a drop brings out more toffee coffee chocolate. A few more and muddles the magic.

This one took time to fully open up and reveal all its secrets. A completely sinful desert so rich that just a small spoonful satisfies.

Comments included:

  • “Stop teasing and lift the veil pretty please?”
  • “One sip is nearly enough!”

As a Gordon & MacPhail bottling exclusive for La Maison du Whisky, you won’t find tasting notes online however the bottle noted:

  • Nose – Subtle sherry influences with stewed apple, cinnamon and a hint of eucalyptus
  • Palate – Mild spices with green apple, orange and grapefruit flavours, Becomes creamy with a liquorice edge
  • Finish – Medium in length with fruit elements

In describing drams from this distillery, Diageo shares:

This is not just an after dinner dram, it’s an after-dinner mood in a liquid. Thick, rich yet pleasantly, palate-cleansingly sweet. Try Dailuaine whisky with the cheese course, or just nose the cheese rind, fruit and citrus aromas hidden in its depths.

Would we agree? Yes. It was a wonderful close to our experimental evening that also featured:

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New kid on the old block… Wolfburn 46%

After an experiment that clearly demonstrated how ‘greedy’ the angels in a warm climate can be… we moved on to sample a completely different whisky.

Once upon a time, there was a distillery in the town of Thurso, the northernmost Scottish mainland distillery. It was founded in 1821 by William Smith and was apparently one of the largest producers in the country. However by the 1850s, production of Wolfburn ceased.

However what was once old, is now new… again! The new Wolfburn avatar opened near the site of the old distillery, using un-peated malt, pot distillation with no automation.


Wolfburn 46% Batch 1 (Mar 2016) 

What did we find?

  • Nose – Sharp, earthy, organic, wet soaks, sour lemon, lab, cereals, initially no smoke but then after sipping, could easily discern a faint wisp of peat
  • Palate – Quite a zing, honey flower sweet, strong with some mocha walnut ‘oomph’ with a lovely echo of peat
  • Finish – Short, bitter sweet. As one put it “It stops at the tonsils”

While clearly young, showed promise and what we particularly enjoyed was the echo of peat – that added a quality that made this whisky stand out in its approach. It also has more substance than one normally expects from a mere three year old.

Apparently this comes from it being aged in an ex-Islay quarter cask. The smaller cask clearly contributed to accelerating the absorption of the cask flavours.

wolfburnHere’s what the Wolfburn folks have to say:

“On the nose you’ll find fruit and malty aromas, with just a hint of peat. On the tongue, sweet and nutty flavours are present, which coat the palate to leave a very slight pleasant flavour of smoke. It is a joy to drink – I hope you enjoy every drop.” Shane Fraser, Distillery Manager

We agreed it is a promising start and look forward to seeing what comes next!

PS If you are keen to try, Wolfburn is available in India through The Vault Fine Spirits

Here’s what others say:

PS Tobi from Barley Mania has an interview with Shane Fraser worth checking out here!

Other whiskies sampled in our experimental evening:

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India’s greedy angels – an experiment

Have you ever wondered just how ‘greedy’ the angels are in a warm climate like Bombay?

One of our whisky tasting club members decided to do a little experiment. Only we had no idea!

We started with two whiskies… sampled blind with no further information. Here is what we found….

1st whisky “Citrus”

  • Nose – Lemon citrus, sweet, lightly organic, honey, fruit, banana, floral though not specifically distinct, bit of pale hay
  • Palate – Tangy citrus, a little sour bitter, cough syrup, linear with no spice
  • Finish – There and gone

A light, sweet start with subtle perfume notes… One member immediately recognized the whisky. Another dubbed it “White shirt, white pant”

2nd whisky “Wood”

  • Nose – Wood shavings, saw mill, varnish, a bourbon-y feel, pepper, mint steam, dry spices, sweet, an attic full of wood furniture or an antique store
  • Palate – Spice, black liquorice, pepper, very dry, quite sour, thin, astringent
  • Finish – Spice pepper

Not at all complex….


So what was the experiment exactly? Our host managed to get a hold of a new oak mini cask!

His plan was to see the affect of wood on whisky at quarterly intervals:

  • 0 Months – Into the cask went 2 Litres less a 250 ml sample
  • 3 Months – Remove approx 250 ml
  • 6 Months – Remove approx 250 ml
  • 12 Months – Bottle the balance, timed perfectly with hosting the October session

The control sample and 3 month sample went fine but then… by 6 months… nothing. Seriously – nothing! Not a drop!

So to answer the original question posed… just how greedy are the angels? Very verrrry greedy indeed!

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Experimental Evening – Glenmorangie, Wolfburn + Dailuaine

Finally after a two month hiatus our original tasting group re-united with full quorum!

As usual, we sampled completely blind… before revealing the whisky. In this case, there was a twist…


Whiskies sampled included:

Related posts:

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Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star 41.8%

Just what is up with these distinctive delicious whiskies from Sweden?

From Sweden, Spirit of Hven is a family owned distillery on the island of Hven, on the straight between Denmark and Sweden.  Tycho’s Star is named as a tribute to a famous Hven islander –  astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).


Spirit of Hven Tycho’s Star 41.8%

  • Nose – Wow! Hickory bacon, leather, really nice on the nose, spice, apples, hickory wood, smoke, juniper, honey, vanilla, milk chocolate and mocha
  • Palate – Great very full mouthfeel, chewy yet not in the least bit harsh, some rich dark fruit, pepper, sweet cinnamon, toffee, nuts, delicious!
  • Finish – Bacony sweet, walnut bitter, with a soft herbal hickory tail on a revisit found chocolate orange zest

It was a pleasure to try this whisky. These days, we tend to find whiskies below 43% watery yet the ‘full’ character of Tycho’s Star gave the impression of a higher strength without the additional alcohol. That shared, none of us were tempted to add even a drop of water.

Comments included “This is like a full meal deal – big mac with fries!” and “I want to have this with steak” clearly reflecting its ‘meaty’ character and yet “It is somehow light in its heaviness.”

We also found it surprisingly well balanced and avoided the obvious ‘this is too young’ type whisky edges.

Don’t let the rich colour fool you into thinking there is caramel. Tycho’s Star is organic certified without carbon- or chill filtering, no colouring or additives.

Apparently this particular whisky is made from a mash bill of chocolate malt, heavy peated malt and pale ale – bringing together caramel chocolate, leather and grassy base notes.

And the casks? The casks are 58.20% heavy char Quercus Muehlenbergii from Missouri, 33.44% heavy toast Quercus Petraea from Allier and 8.36% medium toast Quercus Robur from Bourgogne. Pretty precise details from the distillery!

While our whisky lady contributor did not bring the case, there was mention of leather straps and we loved the dark wax drips down the beaker style bottle. So certainly got ‘thumbs up’ for packaging too!

While considered ‘entry level’ and absolutely in the affordable category (approx $55 for 50cl), this one certainly left us wanting to explore more!

What they have to say:

The whisky has dark, almost mystical notes of leather and liquorice, embraced by a round scent of ripe plums. All this is elevated and refreshed by fragrances of apple and elderflowers. Newly harvested hay and honeydew meadows give a soft finish.

What others have to say:

We are seriously starting to have a Swedish whisky fan club starting here in Mumbai! It helps that we have one Swedish whisky lady who can periodically feed our growing interest… can’t wait to see what she brings back from her latest trip.

Other whiskies sampled in September’s Whisky Ladies session included:

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Apple cider whisky – Akashi Red 40%

Unless you’ve been asleep in the last few years, you would know Japanese whisky has established itself on the world whisky stage as pretty premium!

However there is another kind of Japanese whisky out there… something known as ‘ji-whisky‘ i.e. smaller local spirits companies ‘micro-distilleries’ that sometimes pump out other spirits like sake and sochu, making cheaper whisky blends primarily with the Japanese consumer in mind.

Akashi is an example of such a ‘ji-whisky’ and one of the few Japanese blended whiskies available in Mumbai duty-free. Key point – it is not ‘purely’ Japanese as it uses a mix of foreign and Japanese malt and grain whiskies.

I first sampled an Akashi White Oak 40% at a house-warming party. Not having proper tasting glasses, I sipped it from a shot glass and the overwhelming impression was of a bubblegum, vanilla and honey nose, smooth creamy light fruity oak palate and an absent finish. As White Oak from Eigashima Shuzō distillery  (i.e. White Oak) is the most readily accessible of Akashi’s offerings, I assumed this would be the Akashi sampled with the Whisky Ladies a few days later.

Nope! Our Whisky Ladies seek the less common and instead our evening featured the Akashi Red which spent 2 years maturing in ex-bourbon casks and 1 year in a sherry cask. Judging from the colour, it was liberally augmented with caramel.


Akashi Red Blended Whisky 40%

  • Nose – Varnish and vanilla, medicinal ammonia with a bit of rubbing alcohol, apple cider, sweet cinnamon, honey, grain
  • Palate – APPLES, smooth, toffee, drizzle of honey… not much else, quite a thin body, light, soft without much substance
  • Finish – Light burn, bit woody, more apple… just this time the slightly bitter apple peel
  • Water – One attempted to find a little orange peel

As soon as one lady said “This is a bit like Calvados”, she had company in that opinion!

Apple was consistent in all elements… as we gave it some time, it initially took on a more ‘malty’ quality and became even smoother (if that’s possible!)…

And then that’s when it became flat. Think apple juice. Now, I’m not averse to a good apple juice… but apple juice whisky? Hmm….

Here’s what they have to say from the bottle:

  • Nose – orange peel, ginger, honey
  • Palate – sweet cake, vanilla
  • Finish – medium, light honey finish

We were surprised at no mention of apple… for all of this,  the core fruit to this light whisky was apple, apple, apple….

But here is the thing. It isn’t expensive. Easy drinking (if you drink it quickly!). It again reminded me of something more suited to sake shots… and I wondered if the shot glass I first sampled the White Oak was perhaps just about right for the Red too?

For a bit more about whiskies from this distillery…

Related Whisky Lady posts:

Other whiskies sampled during our September Whisky Ladies evening:

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Whisky Ladies like variety! Akashi, Spirit of Hven + Linkwood

Variety is the spice of life! And why not with whiskies too?

This Whisky Ladies session with a few ladies gallivanting around the globe, those remaining in Mumbai decided to merrily abandon the idea of a co-ordinated theme.

Instead we decided to mix up whiskies from three different countries and styles.

Whisky Ladies, Sept 2016

Whisky Ladies, Sept 2016

The Linkwood was a gift from our Bombay Malt & Cigar session, so I had sampled it earlier, however for everyone else joining, it was a 1st for them! Pronounced a rather lovely drinking dram, it kicked off our evening’s tasting session.

The Akashi is one of the few whiskies blended in Japan available at Mumbai duty free. The Akashi is an example of a ‘ji-whisky’ and has an apple cider quality. It works well as a ‘starter’ whisky for those who like something simple, smooth and unchallenging… and was meant to be our ‘appetizer’ except our poor Whisky Lady got stuck in nearly 2 hours of traffic to reach! (that’s dedication!)

The Spirit of Hven was acquired by a new whisky lady on her recent trip to Sweden. Much bolder with fabulous packaging, the Tycho’s Star swaggered into our senses and was much enjoyed. The irony was our Swedish whisky lady happened to be… well… in Sweden so missed the session however this was clearly one she would enjoy!

PS With desert, we decided to share a few drops of the Blair Athol 27 year with it full cask sherry burst – yum!

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Paul John Single Cask Peated

We’ve had a few brushes with Goa’s answer to the world whisky challenge… The Whisky Ladies were smacking our collective lips with the yummy bacon in the Paul John Peated Select Cask….

However there is a Single Cask avatar of the Paul John Peated too tempting to resist…

Paul John Peated Cask 780

Paul John Single Cask Peated

  • Nose – Sour curd yet also honey caramel like breakfast muesli, peaty bacon, grilled prawns, campfire smoke, then chocolate orange, musty rancio element, as it airs light rose, dry supari
  • Taste – Very smooth, not in the least sharp, lots of body, as much going on in the palate as nose, toasted almonds, green applesauce
  • Finish – Long finish, burnt charcoal that mellows into apple sauce then grapes
  • Water – Fabulous! Adds more to the nose enhancing the supari and boiled rice


  • “I feel like frolicking around the campfire!”
  • “Smells like stinky brie but tastes delicious”
  • “It is a voluptuous woman with attitude”

Overall, all that promise and bursting character in the Select Cask? Even better in the Single Cask. Wonderfully balanced, lots of body, it opens beautifully with a small splash of water. More importantly, it has a distinctive ‘Indian’ quality.

What do the folks at Paul John have to say?

Open your taste buds to the burst of a blood orange and kumquat blast, with an undertone of marmalade, framed by the soft, but confident and compelling peat reek. The profound contrast continues: the mouth watering maltiness plays hide and seek with darker, drier, smoky undertones and the myriad shoes and subtleties of smoked cocoa butter… Quite a handful of attitude in one bottle, this is for serious whisky drinkers.

Other Paul John whisky experiences:20151224_Paul John Quintet

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TWE Covent Garden Reserve Edition No 2 – Islay

After the excellent start with the The Whisky Exchange’s Covent Garden Reserve collection Edition No 1 – Speyside, our miniature exploration turned to the next edition – Islay.

TWE Islay

Edition No 2 – Islay, NAS, Hogshead Cask, Bottle No 288, 55.2%

  • Nose – Clear stamp of Islay character – smoke, dry bark, a tinge bitter, leather, bogs, bitter, sweet smoke, over rite fruit, moss, some cereals, liquorice, cracked black pepper
  • Palate – For such a promising nose, the palate was not so complex, still in character with the nose but in a sharp way, almost harsh and young… however when later revisited seemed like it had settled into its own and much more in harmony with the nose and finish
  • Finish – Sweet long finish with a bitter edge… nice and ‘big’
  • Water – Lost a lot on the nose, became almost too sweet – like cinnamon candy

After a a wonderful range of aromas, bit disappointing palate initially, the finish completely redeemed itself. After airing for some time, all three elements started to play much better together.

Above all – there was absolutely no doubt this was an Islay whisky! If you were randomly asked to pluck something off the shelf that meets the stereotype of a what one associates with the ‘Islay region’ – this would be perfect.

Wanting to know more, I wrote to the gentlemen over at the Whisky Exchange.

Most amusingly, they came back with a teasing clue…

a distillery from the town of Port Askaig

What’s your guess?

The other miniatures sampled in August:

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