In a welcome development, Diageo, the world’s largest spirits multi-national has launched in India their first local craft product, a 100 per cent rice whisky, that comes beautifully packaged. Dubbed United's Epitome Reserve, this golden liquid blend is made of locally sourced rice from the northern frontiers of Punjab, which then travels over 2,000 km to be matured in Goa in bourbon casks over three years, and then finished in PX (Pedro Ximenez) Sherry and Cherrywood casks in a 50-year-old warehouse.
It has woody flavours, with vibrant characters of rich dried fruits, and sweet toffee caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and rich spicy notes. The liquid is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a dash of water. Epitome Reserve is the first-ever whisky that comes with an Indian Master Blender’s signature, a personalised nod to the connoisseurs of true craft -- Mahesh Patil is the individual in question. Epitome Reserve comes in an exquisite and meticulously handcrafted maple wood pack that brings to life the ethos of the Banyan Tree, with shades of green and teal, and is meant to be a keepsake.