Gianchand whisky is made by Devans Modern Breweries which is based in Jammu and was established in 1961 and has been manufacturing and selling matured malt spirit since 1967 to the industry, which is over 5 decades, this means that they know exactly what they are doing. This whisky has also become really popular and a famed name since like some of the Indian Single Malts this also won accolades in the international markets.
The price of this whisky is Rs. 4490 in Delhi and this is currently available in Delhi, Jammu, Uttarakhand and Leh. The whisky will also be launched in Gurgaon soon with availability to stretch to 10 states later. Devans also have couple of other popular products in the Beer category that you might’ve heard of, like the Godfather and Kotsberg Beer, but with Gianchand, the company has entered the whisky market.
Now this is a very peculiar name, isn’t it? Gianchand? And I am sure you are wondering why is this named that? This whisky is named after the company late founder Dewan Gian Chand and is dedicated to him. Now Dewan Gian Chand was a former journalist who started with a liquor bottling plant which later turned into a distillery over the years.
There are two other things that I find really unique about the whisky
First is where it is made. So the distillery where Gianchand whisky is made is located in Jammu. Their flagship distillery, which is at Bohri is located on the banks of river Tawi, 900 feet up in the lap of the Himalayas. The reason why I am giving this information is because this makes the water from that region unique, and as you know that it adds a unique taste to the whisky. The company also operates two breweries in Kotputli, Rajasthan, and Samba.
And the second thing is that this blend is also made by the legendary master blender Mr. NJ Menon. He has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by Ambrosia and some of the most loved brands that you might’ve tasted or heard of his creations. McDowell’s No 1, Bagpiper, Diplomat, Signature, Gold Riband, Caesar Brandy, Honey Bee brandy, Celebration Rum, Old Cask Rum, Royal Treasure White Rum, Blue Riband Gin Duets and Romanov Vodka are just a few of the 300+ blends that NJM has developed during his career.
In terms of the packaging, I really like the shape of the bottle. It feels bold yet delicate and classy, the labels are nice and strong, exudes the name as well. It also gives good info about the whisky and beams the words ‘Product of India’ on the label. The bottle seems like it reminisces a Japanese whisky honestly.
This whisky is made by the company by sticking to the basics – they’ve used quality ex-bourbon barrels and paid particular attention to ageing. Dewans believe GianChand can be compared by to the likes of Glenfiddich 18YO. Now that is a tall claim but there is also a peated version that should be out in the next six-odd months. Peated version is extra smoky for the ones that don’t know.
Tasting and Nosing
Like most Indian single malts, it does have that fruity aroma, like peachy, pruny, a little apriocot may be. You do get some sweetness and some spiciness. It is smoky – I am getting the oak for sure.
In terms of taste, it is sweet, but I love the fact that there is some salt or a hint of salt to it. It comes through very slightly. It is surely spicy – which is typical of the Indian single malts – they have that fruity taste with a hint of spice. So I love the balance that this has. The finish is slightly long but is smooth with no burn. It is a good explosion of flavours all around that gives a mouthful as you sample the spirit more.
With water added the whisky opens up slightly more and the aromas get even more balanced.
So what do I think about Gianchand? Honestly it is truly reminiscent of the sort of single malts that India is producing in recent times. And like some of the other single malts that have held India’s flag high in the international whisky market, this also adds to that collection. This is sweet and delicate, yet creates that punch. Personally, for me this time in the Alcobev market is so important coz I feel that there is a Indian Single Malt revolution that is currently on, not only in India but also globally and this adds another star to that.