In the case of whiskey drinkers, the choice of their tipple is dictated by both the occasion and the price of their favorite spirit. For grand occasions, one would typically break open the Scotch whiskey they’ve been saving up for that very moment, but for an everyday tipple, a generic brand would be fine until you’re too picky.
Oaksmith Gold presents both of these segments with a pleasant conundrum. This rare blend of East and West whiskey is made especially for the Indian consumer, making it an excellent choice for a whiskey that’s both global in aspiration and local in its taste. What’s your opinion? Let’s talk.
About Oaksmith Gold:
Before we get started on the tasting, let’s learn a little more about Oaksmith Gold. Whiskey comes from the house of Beam Suntory, part of the Japanese conglomerate Suntory Holdings Ltd. This is the company’s first entry into the mass-premium segment of Indian whiskey lovers. Beam Suntory also owns the more expensive Islay single malts Bowmore and Laphroaig, as well as the Japanese whiskies Hibiki and Yamazaki.
In terms of pricing, Oaksmith Gold competes with Diageo’s Signature and Pernod-Ricard’s Blender’s Pride. Oaksmith Gold’s strength lies in its blend, which is heavily influenced by Japanese philosophy.
The Oaksmith Gold was created by Shinji Fukuyo, the Chief Blender at Suntory, specifically for the Indian market. Consequently, the whiskey can be had by mixing it with water and soda, which is how Indians prefer to consume whiskey – something Fukuyo learned on his visit to the country before creating the blend.
Oaksmith Gold whiskey is created by combining Scotch from distilleries in Scotland with Bourbon from America, and then blending it with Japanese craftsmanship for a distinct whiskey for the Indian market.
Oaksmith Gold has a lot going for it, so expectations are high. Let’s see what it can do.
On The Nose:
Right off the bat, the nose picks up woody and fruity notes. Upon a second sniff, berries and plums stand out as distinct notes on the nose. The combination adds a distinctive flavor to the whiskey on the nose, making it an even more enjoyable drink to taste.
On The Palate:
The smooth overtures of the whisky, especially at the back of the throat, are difficult to ignore. The smoothness of the spirit complements the honey and floral notes that it gently releases. As there are no single flavors that dominate the experience, it flows softly across the palate.
After adding a few drops of water, the smokiness drops considerably, but the other flavours are still evident. People don’t really like the smokiness that envelops and dominates a whiskey’s taste. While many barrels release some wonderful aromas that connoisseurs prefer, for the average Indian whiskey lover, the two most important factors are an enjoyable taste and a low price. Oaksmith Gold manages to score on both fronts with aplomb.
This whiskey isn’t for those who enjoy peaty smokiness. However, it isn’t a deal-breaker. Since Oaksmith Gold is not defined by any one style, its smoothness would attract more Indian whiskey drinkers to it.
Oaksmith, the brand that consists of two expressions from Beam Suntory, is sure to be a huge success when it hits the mass market. Beam Suntory also seems confident about the success of its product. It has set a target of becoming a billion-dollar enterprise by 2030, with its premium brands contributing 50% to 60% to the bottom-line and Oaksmith alone contributing 40% to 50%.