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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Indian whisky plans Scotch debut
Can Amrut win the hearts and minds of Scottish drinkers?
An Indian distillery is about to start selling its single malt in Scotland, whisky capital of the world.

The Bangalore-based Amrut Distilleries plans to launch the drink through Glasgow's network of curry restaurants later this year.

If the initial launch proves a success, the Indian brew will then be rolled out across the UK's supermarkets.

Amrut boss Rakshit Jagdale said he was confident the malt would appeal even to discerning Scottish drinkers.

"We feel strongly that Amrut single malt would have a fair amount of acceptance within the Scottish community, and the UK at large," he told the BBC's World Business Report.

Consumer approval

"Indian single malt whisky has its own character. The product is made from 100% Indian barley, grown in the foothills of the Himalayas."

Mr Jagdale said he had been encouraged by blind tests in Scotland where most consumers said they liked the drink, comparing it to Speyside single malts such as Glenfarclas.

Amrut currently does not plan to sell its single malt - also called Amrut - in India, concentrating instead on the UK, mainland Europe, and the United States.

The drink would retail at between 19 and 20 a bottle in the UK, Mr Jagdale said.

The multi-million pound global whisky market is dominated by Scottish, Irish and north American producers, while the drink is also produced in Japan and a handful of other Asian nations.

Last year, another little-known whisky producing nation emerged when the Welsh Whisky Company launched its Penderyn single malt.

Rakshit Jagdale, Amrut Distilleries
"We felt we could expose the product within Indian restaurants."

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