The New Indian Single Malt: Kamet
Ambrosia|March 2021
Let’s start with a brand new whisky from a two-year-old company called Peak Spirits. After Amrut and Paul John, there’s another Indian single malt whisky that’s coming to town, from the makers of Jin Jiji—a newly-released cashew gin from Goa—comes Kamet, an Indian single malt whisky that celebrates its provenance. While it’s inspired by Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, one of the highest peaks in the country, Kamet draws on local motifs and characters such as the Indian parrot, an important part of the culture in the villages surrounding the distillery near Kurukshetra. Lopamudra Ganguly Speaks to Ansh Khanna, the curator of Kamet.
Ansh Khanna

“Kamet was envisioned by me and Master Sommelier Ken Fredrickson, who believed India to be one of the greatest places in the world to produce whisky given the unique six row barley and ageing conditions. It is a JV between Peak Spirits and Piccadily Distillery,” says Mr. Ansh Khanna.

Is India Good for single Malt?

“We consider India to be one of the greatest places in the world to produce single malt whisky, given our unique six-row barley and ageing conditions.” Ansh Khanna, co-founder of Peak Spirits that owns the two labels, says, “We had been working on the single malt much before Jin JiJi. Given the ageing requirements, the journey to launch is much longer.”

At the beginning of this year, Peak Spirits, run by Mumbai-based Ansh Khanna and Chicago-based sommelier Ken Frederickson, soft-launched their first product Jin Jiji in select cities in the US, Europe, and Canada. The ‘India Dry Gin’, which is distilled in Goa, and will soon be available in the state — along with their first-ever whisky, Kamet. Named after a 20-thousander in the Garhwal Himalayas, among India’s highest mountains, work on the NAS whisky, says Khanna, began around 2016. “Ken and I believe that India’s unique conditions and six-row barley — we source ours from the foothills of the Himalayas — make it an exciting place to produce a single malt of great complexity,” says Khanna.

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