On The Rocks – January 2016

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The luxury single malt company from India, Amrut Distilleries, recently completed a decade. We speak to the Executive Director, Rakshit N. Jagdale about putting themselves on the world map

RAKSHIT luxury single malt
WHEN DID THE VISION TO CREATE AMRUT (FUSION) SINGLE MALT COME TO FRUITION?

We began with distilled malt whiskey in 1798 to use it in our branded whiskey portfolio. It was in 2001 that I went overseas to do my MBA and that is where the idea of the Single Malt Whiskey took shape. I was asked to do a project as part of my dissertation for the university and I showcased a live project report to the company and the board approved of it in 2002. In August 2004, Amrut launched India’s first indigenously distilled, matured and bottled malt whiskey.

WHAT WAS THE THOUGHT BEHIND LAUNCHING THIS FUSION SINGLE MALT OVERSEAS FIRST AND THEN BRINGING IT TO INDIA?
We wanted to get the accolades overseas first and when the word of mouth got to India, we then planned to introduce it in our country. It was a deliberate marketing strategy that we undertook.

IS THE DECLINING DEMAND FOR WHISKEY IN THE INDIAN MARKET OF SERIOUS CONCERN TO THE BRAND?
The overall sprits market in India is stagnant as far as growth is concerned. The entire spirit market growth has plateaued out in India. The entire spirit market is growing at a rate of 2.5 to 3% annually. There is more stagnation of growth where the mid range whiskeys are concerned. Whereas we see a small bit of growth happening in the scotch and whiskey segments. Basically people are graduating up the segment to premium whiskeys and scotch and hence we are witnessing a premiumization of single malt whiskeys in India.

luxury single malt
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE ‘AMRUT 10 YEAR OLD GREEDY ANGELS’ LIMITED EDITION WHICH SOLD OUT WITHIN 2 DAYS OF ITS RELEASE AND SOME OF YOUR OTHER LIMITED EDITION BEST SELLERS?
We had just 2 casks maturing in our warehouse for 10 years and we bottled 320 bottles out of them. The stocks were presold even before we bottled them. Our other limited editions are Amrut Kadambham, Amrut Portonova, Amrut Two Continents, Amrut Herald and Amrut Sherry Finish.

ARE THERE ANY NEW INNOVATIONS FOR THE LIMITED EDITION SERIES ON THE CARDS? IF SO, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
Nothing new planned for this year. We have close to about 18 single malt variations in our portfolio. We have to benchmark and keep up a consistent profile on the quality and that is a challenge in itself.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MALT WHISKEY BRANDS AND WHY?
Glenfiddish 15 yo / 18yo, Lagavullin 16 year old, Laphroigh 18 yo, Macallan 12 yo and Bunahaveen 18 yo.

We do not see any difference between Indian and overseas consumers as both are very knowledgeable about their whiskies

 

Volume 5 Issue 7

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