In The Right Spirit
A good whisky is a spirit whose distinct flavour and complexity evokes a sense of passion and well-being, according to Jim Murray, touted as the world's leading whisky guru. And he stands testimony to this as he holds his single malt whisky — on the rocks — on a pleasant spring evening at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, and like a young lover, he looks at the glass with much admiration and intensity.
At the event hosted by Amrut Distilleries on the eve of its 10th anniversary, guests including the city’s glitterati — hoteliers, businessmen, celebrities — gather for a Whisky tasting session with Murray. On each table is placed six small pegs of whisky and a bottle of mineral water. Murray himself has before him whisky glasses, a huge cask filled with his favourite spirit, a decanter and a whisky bible that he swears by. Donning a white cap and a red tie, Murray lectures a rather curious audience about the art of whisky drinking. Grey-haired and moustached, Murray has a thick British accent; he speaks in a slow, drooling manner, with an authoritative tone on the virtues of single malts. “Treat whisky as an individual. Build a relationship with it. View its multifaceted-ness,” says Murray. And what makes the entire affair all the more fascinating is the fact that Murray himself is not much of an alcohol drinker.
According to Murray, whisky is as elegant, balanced and refined a drink as wine. It is also called a mature drink, which can be sold only after being casked for at least three years. So, if any of you want to drink this mature spirit the right way, take a deep breath, grab a single malt, follow Murray’s passionate steps and drink it to its last dreg — in style.
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