Single Malt Amateurs Club, India’s foremost whisky club, presented to its members ‘Whisky Wanderlust’, a remarkable 9-day whisky trail in Scotland. A first of its kind from India, a group of enthusiasts travelled together for the sole purpose of whisky discovery. The tour, advocated by Godawan Craft Indian Single Malt and Estuary Premium Blending Water, immersed fifteen members of the club in the picturesque landscapes of Scotland by visiting more than 20 distilleries, while appreciating some of the finest whiskies in the world.
The whisky aficionados set off on one of the finest adventures across Scotland’s most renowned whisky provinces: Speyside, Highlands, Islay, and Campbelltown, as well as their world-famous bars.
The spanking new distillery of Cairn, the regal luxury of the tasting room at Glenfarclas, the pristine beauty at the sprawling Glenfiddich distillery, the untamed allure of the coastal locations of Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Ardbeg and Laphroaig, presented narratives that were unique and engaging. The Garden of Tranquillity, with its serene ambience, became a sanctuary for savouring some of the finest drams. Tasting at Bowmore’s Vault Number 1 was a sacred ritual, and Ian MacArthur’s wisdom at Lagavulin was nothing short of a spiritual experience. Warehouse tastings revealed the intimate alchemy between wood and spirit, while masterclasses at Gordon & MacPhail allowed participants to delve into the nuances of whisky craftsmanship. The expedition went beyond whisky tasting to provide a complete experience to each member.
However, the pinnacle of this whisky discovery lay in the tasting of the king of spirits itself. While visiting some of the renowned bars in Scotland, they felt the rich and vibrant culture of the towns and experienced whiskies unique to that provenance.
Bowmore 25, Tomatin 33, Tomatin 36, Glenfarclas Family Casks, Lagavulin 20 CS, Gordon & Macphail – Linkwood 25 and Glenlivet 15YO Connoisseurs Choice were some of the stellar whiskies tasted at the distilleries. Evenings were peppered with conversations & whiskies from the 60’s era belonging to a private collection; Cockbrun, Excalibur, Ambassador, Glen Garry, Churtons VOBG were just some of the drams that took members back in time when whisky making was very different.
Travelling through Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes, sharing meals and laughter, and forging deep connections with fellow adventurers added layers of richness to the journey. Evenings spent together became moments to savour, both in terms of the company and the drams.
Hemanth Rao, Founder, SMAC, says, “Looking back on the tour, experiencing it both as an enthusiast and as an organiser was eye-opening. It’s fascinating how individuals can find distinct value in each distillery. The diversity of choices and palates truly shines when you embark on a group tour of distillery visits and tasting sessions. It’s an exhilarating journey because there’s never a dull moment; there are always unexpected anecdotes and experiences that unfold within. The element of fun and surprise is amplified when you explore whisky together.”
“Whisky Wanderlust’ provides the right platform for aficionados to immerse themselves and experience the rich craftsmanship that whisky represents. Godawan Single Malt is extremely proud to collaborate with SMAC India, to provide further impetus to build and enable the growing ecosystem of whisky connoisseurs in India, who appreciate quality whiskies. We believe that this will go a long way in infusing confidence, knowledge, and expertise for these whisky lovers, who are getting more discerning every day and will play a significant role in appreciating Indian whiskies in the global arena,” says Vikram Damodaran, Chief Innovation Officer, Diageo India.
“We are thrilled that we were a part of this extraordinary whisky tour organised by SMAC India. Estuary Water is delighted to enhance the whisky enthusiasts’ experience with its distinguished products formulated to blend with the complexity of single malts and whiskies – giving the most authentic and consistent taste of the spirit. Together, we have created an unforgettable journey that showcased the true essence and flavours of Scotch whisky,” says Devashish Kamdar, Chairman and Founder, Estuary Blending Water.
As the sun set on ‘Whisky Wanderlust’, participants returned to India with newfound respect and awe towards the king of spirits. The Club’s commitment to whisky education and appreciation has taken enthusiasts on a transformative journey through the heartland of whisky.
India’s status as the world’s largest consumer of whisky, coupled with its rich history and diverse preferences, sets the stage for a vibrant whisky culture. SMAC India, founded in 2011, continues to nurture this passion, engaging over 6000 global members. It serves as a trusted space for enthusiasts to share their love and whisky wisdom.