Indisk whisky / Del 1
Intervju med Ashok Chokalingam

Indien är en av världens största whiskyproducenter. Vad som kan vara värt att nämna i sammanhanget är att de flesta destillerier i Indien tillverkar whisky genom att konvertera melass till alkohol. Och då får det inte kallas för "whisky", eftersom det bara innehåller en liten del av traditionell maltwhisky (oftast omkring 10-12%).

Så har det varit ända fram till 2004, då Amrut Distilleries lanserade Amrut, den första single malt whisky som någonsin tiilverkats i Indien.

En intressant aspekt är att tack vare klimatet i Indien så åldras whiskyn mycket snabbare.

Surinder Kumar, Master Blender på Amrut Distilleries, har uppskattat att tack vare klimatskillnaderna så är tre år på ett fat i Skottland lika med ett år i Indien. Samtidigt gör klimatet att andelen Angels Share (den del som dunstar genom det porösa träet) är väsentligt mycket högre. I t.e.x. Skottland ligger det på cirka 2-3%, och i Indien på cirka 12-13%.

Jag är mycket glad över att kunna presentera en intervju med Ashok Chokalingam, mannen som satte Amrut Single Malt på världskartan. Ashok har verkligen gjort så att Amrut har nått en bred internationell status och ett erkännande som är mycket anmärkningsvärt. Och detta på relativt kort tid, dessutom.

I am very pleased to present an interview with Ashok Chokalingam, the man who put Amrut Single Malt on the world map. Ashok has really done so Amrut has reached a broad international status and recognition which is very remarkable. And this in a relatively short time, also.

Hello Ashok. Can you please tell my readers who you are?
I am Ashok Chokalingam, working for Amrut Distilleries as an International Sales and Marketing Manager. 

When and how did you get involved in the whisky industry?
I started to work at Amrut Distillery, this is my first distillery job, in 2004. The current owner of Amrut Distilleries, Rick Jagdale, was my class mate at the University in England. That is how I got into this Job. 

In your role, what do you enjoy the most?
Travelling around and meeting many new and old friends all the time. 

How would you describe the house-style of Amrut?
Glorious bourbon notes fused with barley sugars with heady vanilla citrus combine.

What is it that make Amrut whisky special in your opinion?
Variety and variation on every new brand that we bottle and I am very proud of that. 

Your top five Amrut whiskies?

1. Peated Cask Strength

2. Portonova

3. Spectrum

4. Greedy Angels

5. Double Cask 

Ashok's top five Amrut.

Favourite moment in your whisky career?
When I got World Whisky Ambassador of the year for the second time in 2016. 

What are your thoughts about the massive success of Amrut in Sweden?
We are massively indebted to Sweden and the consumers there. By far this is the best market that I would like to work personally and this will remain the same going forward. 

What is your opinion on the trend of NAS whisky?
Those who said age matters are changing their tune now. That is not we. We always said that age does not always matter and we will stick to that forever. 

Have you tried any swedish whisky? If so, what did you think of it?
So far I have tried both Mackmyra and Box and I quite like both of them and they are good whiskies by any standard. 

Do you have any whisky advice for my readers?
Please drink in moderation and always hydrate yourself well enough and look after your health.  

Finally, anything you would like to add?
We are going to have few fantastic new releases this year and keep your eyes open!

Sources: Wikipedia and Amrut Distilleries
All pictures belongs to Amrut Distilleries©
Thanks to Ashok for his cooperation.