India has a growing appreciation for whisky, and connoisseurs are constantly on the lookout for unique and intriguing offerings. In this blog post, we explore five famous whiskies with unusual names that you should definitely try. So, pour yourself a dram and join us on this fascinating journey through the world of whisky.
1. Monkey Shoulder
Monkey Shoulder is a blended malt Scotch whisky that combines three different single malts from the Speyside region. Its peculiar name comes from a condition that maltmen (workers who turned the barley during the malting process) used to develop. Prolonged and repetitive labor led to a strain injury, causing their shoulders to droop, thus giving the impression of a monkey’s arm. Despite the name’s origin, Monkey Shoulder is a smooth and easy-drinking whisky with notes of vanilla, honey, and spiced oak.
2. Sheep Dip
Sheep Dip is a blended malt Scotch whisky that derives its name from a time when British farmers hid their homemade whisky from tax collectors in barrels marked “Sheep Dip.” Sheep dip is a liquid formulation used to rid sheep of parasites and protect their health. The whisky itself is a blend of 16 different single malt whiskies, aged between 8 and 21 years, offering a rich and complex flavor profile with notes of apple, spice, and a hint of smoke.
3. Big Peat
Big Peat is a blended malt Scotch whisky from the independent bottler Douglas Laing. Named after the eponymous character on the label, the whisky celebrates the peaty flavors of Islay single malts. Big Peat includes whiskies from well-known Islay distilleries such as Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, and Port Ellen. With a bold and smoky profile, it features flavors of iodine, seaweed, and a subtle sweetness, making it a perfect choice for peat enthusiasts.
4. Kuchh Nai
Kuchh Nai is a blended Scotch whisky that stands out for its unconventional name, which translates to “nothing” in Hindi. The story goes that when people were asked what they were drinking, they would respond with “kuchh nai,” leading to the adoption of this peculiar name. Kuchh Nai is a blend of malt and grain whiskies from Scotland, featuring a gentle profile with fruity and malty notes, a touch of spice, and a smooth finish.
5. Dead Man’s Fingers
While not a whisky in the traditional sense, Dead Man’s Fingers is a spiced rum that has gained popularity among Indian whisky drinkers who enjoy its unique flavors. The name comes from the “fingers” of dead man’s finger mushrooms (Xylaria polymorpha) found around the British Isles. Created in Cornwall, England, Dead Man’s Fingers offers a complex profile with notes of saffron, vanilla, nutmeg, and orange, making it a versatile choice for both sipping and mixing in cocktails.
Whisky enthusiasts can rejoice in the vast array of unique and memorable offerings available. The five whiskies mentioned in this article, each with an unusual name and an interesting backstory, are sure to delight your senses and stimulate conversations at your next gathering. Whether you’re a fan of peaty Islay malts or prefer something milder and sweeter, there’s something here for everyone. So, raise a glass to the fascinating world of whisky, and let these distinctive drams transport you to new and exciting taste horizons.