McDowell’s debuts a single malt

McDowells’ debuts single malt whiskey This triple-cask, wine-forward single malt (L) is first matured in ex-Bourbon and virgin oak casks, then in Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz casks. The magic of the Sahyadri mountains is amply captured in the package design (R).

McDowell’s & Co., among the country’s oldest beverage alcohol manufacturers and the largest-selling whiskey brand in the world, has arisen in a new avatar: McDowell’s Distiller Batch single malt! This time around, it is not just about its legacy, but also the reincarnation of the best Indian craftsmanship, luxury and provenance.

The debut edition of McDowell’s Distiller Batch Indian single malt is limited to just 6,000 bottles (750 ml at 46% ABV) – all exclusively allocated to the Haryana (Gurugram) market. This will be followed by more limited releases in Goa and Hyderabad, according to Diageo India, owner of the McDowell’s legacy.

This triple-cask single malt is a wine-forward whiskey. It represents the pinnacle of Indian whiskey making, taking advantage of Nashik’s climate that is best suited for wine growing and maturing spirits.

McDowell’s Distiller Batch Indian single malt is first matured in ex-Bourbon and virgin oak casks, and then again in Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz casks, the latter unique to the terrain of the Sahyadri mountains (Western Ghats).

“This adds an exceptional vintage character to the whiskey, making it unlike any other,” says Vikram Damodaran, Chief Innovation Officer at Diageo India. “This single malt romances the grape and terroir surrounding the company’s distillery in Dindori (near Nashik).”

On the nose, the whiskey boasts aromas of vanilla and rich fresh fruit, complemented by gentle after-notes of citrus and spice. On the palate, it offers a velvety richness and complex layers of sweet wood and fresh fruity flavours, resulting in a mellow-sweet and lingering finish. The finish is sweet and lingering, gently coating the palate with a flavourful embrace.

The launch of McDowell’s Distiller’s Batch Indian single malt marks an exciting new chapter for the brand. Recognising a rapidly growing consumer appetite for made-in-India luxury spirits, hyper-local ingredients and Indian craftsmanship, the single malt aims to reinvent drinking experiences.

Vikram notes that Diageo India is placing consumers at the forefront by curating unparalleled drinking experiences with world-class spirits that embody luxury and craftsmanship. “With seven distilleries strategically located across India, access to unique local ingredients and raw materials, and a team of over a hundred skilled craftspeople, we are pushing the needle of innovation to revolutionise the way Indian consumers drink and socialise.”

For the design, Diageo India collaborated with Design Bridge and Partners. Jon Neal, Creative Leadership Director at the firm, explains that the bottle and packaging are the ultimate capture of the spirit of the Sahyadri mountain range where the whiskey is produced.

The spectacular location, the vibrant hues, and the unique atmospheric conditions of the Nashik distillery, where mountain mists embrace the whiskey casks, have inspired the deep purple tones and shrouded peaks on the packaging. The wine region also comes alive on the packaging with a golden map.

“This is the first of many new liquids to come from our premium McDowell's portfolio and is a tribute to the brand’s rich legacy in India,” says Ruchira Jaitly, Chief Marketing Officer at Diageo India. “We will continue to bring back unique propositions with a slew of exquisite liquids, all proudly crafted in India!”

Being a wine-producing country, Diageo India has access to the best wine casks in Nashik – and what better way to marry them into a single malt to give a mellow finish!

Diageo India is among the country’s leading beverage alcohol company and a subsidiary of global leader Diageo Plc. The company manufactures, sells and distributes an outstanding portfolio of premium brands such as Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, VAT 69, Antiquity, Signature, The Singleton, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No1, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Godawan, an artisanal single malt whiskey from India.