Beating a number of scotch, American and Irish whiskies to clinch the title, spirit producer Radico Khaitan’s single malt Rampur Asava, an Indian single malt whisky, has been recognised as the ‘Best World Whisky’ in the 2023 edition of the John Barleycorn Awards. In the blind-tasting competition judged by Barleycorn Society members, including Clay Risen, Wayne Curtis, Zach Johnston, Susan Reigler and John McCarthy, the winners of Spring and Fall Competition Top Spirits Of 2023 were declared, including the Indian homegrown whisky and it proved to be a raucous smackdown.

Best whisky in the world: Made in India, single malt Rampur Asava wins John Barleycorn Awards 2023 (Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels)

Being matured in a distillery in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur that was established in 1943, the Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky Asava is first matured in American Bourbon barrels and meticulously finished in Indian Cabernet Sauvignon casks, resulting in a unique expression with an impeccable balance. It holds a typical tropical fruity note of Rampur with added notes of apricot, blackberry and plum, followed with a faint hint of tobacco and spices while the palate is velvety with manuka honey sweetness highlighted by spicy oak, vanilla and balanced with dryness from Indian red wine.

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Currently available in Duty Free for 9,390, Rampur Asava single malt is finished with the Indian trail that lingers with a medium finish and is tantalizingly long, lingering and generous. In the highly competitive and prestigious international spirits competition takes place every year in the US, John Barleycorn Society acknowledges the excellence in the spirits industry from seed to glass where taste, print and digital marketing, package design, public relations, journalism, social media, event production, filmmaking and bar design are some of the general categories judged by their select panels.

Indian whiskies are currently witnessing an influx in international stores and now, the top picks in international spirits competitions including brands like Amrut, Paul John, Radico Khaitan’s Rampur and Indri, are set to dominate the $33 billion spirits market after lodging a growth of about 23 percent in 2023. According to an early estimate by the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), Indian Single malts accounted for nearly 53 percent of total sales in 2023.