Undiscovered gems

For now Scotch is the undisputed king of the whisky world with Ireland, Japan and America trailing behind but there are a growing number of other countries making unique and outstanding whiskies that you should really try.

Amrut Fusion – India

India might not be the first country you think of when you’re looking for a new world whisky but this beauty made in Bangalore is almost certainly enough to change your mind. Scottish barley and Indian brewing, distillation and maturation, hence the name ‘Fusion’. It’s different, distinctly Indian to those in the know but it made ripples in Glasgow when it passed for Scotch in a blind tasting.

Armorik Sherry Cask – France

Few people know that France is actually the largest market for Scotch whisky in the world after the U.S. fewer know that the country makes it’s own. Armorik based in the north of Brittany is a semi-celtic cousin to Scotland and Ireland and the champion of whisky distillation in the region. There are over 40 distilleries actively making Whisky in france and yet Amorik is the most readily available in Scotland with good reason. This sherry edition showcases the traditional Scottish whisky style with a decidedly French twist, stunning.

Bains Single Grain – South Africa

South Africa makes a few whiskies almost none make it to our shores, being consumed in country instead. The majority are work horse blends and single malts that aren’t really worth seeking out as they offer nothing you can’t find here for less. Bains is a different animal and an alround unusual whisky offering, it’s a grain rather than a single malt, and it’s matured in virgin american oak, like a bourbon. The result is a sweet, smooth, gentle whisky with a surprising amount to offer, it gets better with time so let it sit for a few minutes before you dive in.

Mackmyra – Sweden

This Swedish distillery is all about experimentation, they’ve had whisky designed by a computer, whisky matured down a mine shaft and they’re partnered with Motörhead to produce the Brands signature style. This offering is a gravity powered distillation with spirit being distilled at the top and barreled below, we don’t know if that’s where it gets its candied, citrus notes but either way we’re fans and can’t wait to see what else they hhave to offer.

Starward Nova – Australia

Here at Uisge Beath we’re huge fans of Starward and everything they have to offer, their gingerbeer expressions aside, but this is easily the cream of the crop. Matured in Australian red wine barrels this is a bold, fruity and generally spicy whisky that makes us think the real danger to Scotch as the global whisky powerhouse is not emulation but unique development.

Paul John Peated – India

Another Indian whisky on the list but this is a completely different beast to the Amrut Fusion, this one is the most heavily peated whisky in the Indian category and one that’ll appeal to the Islay fans in the room. Made at the Paul John distillery in Goa it’s become a staple of our cupboards and another favourite for blind tasting.

New Zealand Whisky Collection – New Zealand

This one might be a little bit of a cheat as they no longer make this whisky! Tragically this is among the last surviving liquid of the Willowbank distillery in Dunedin which shut down in 1997. The good news is that the accolades afforded to the last of this stock have revitalised the whisky industry in New Zealand and production has begun again at other distilleries, the bad news is that this the swansong of Willowbank, the bulk of its stock being used for blending long ago.