I’ve written about Indian whiskies several times. One of the things I often mention is the lack of much regulation as far as what Indian whisky means. It could be a true single malt, it could be single grain, it could be fermented molasses, or neutral grain spirits (NGS). As far as Indian single malt is concerned, I’m a big fan for the most part.
One of the oldest Indian distilleries is Radico Khaitan Limited, founded in 1943 and used to be called Rampur Distillery. It is also the largest manufacturer of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL). As such, it does its own distilling, blending, and aging in Rampur.
While perusing the aisle of a random liquor store, I stumbled across After Dark, labeled as a Premium Grain Spirit Whisky. I’ve had spirit whiskies before and have been relatively unimpressed. As it turns out, India’s definition of spirit whisky and America’s are not the same. America’s is very specific. India’s is more of a general whisky definition that deals with IMFL.
“After Dark is a promising brand in the fast growing premium segment in India. It is a drink to be savoured with friends. The night has different connotations for different people. It unfolds and brings a unique world of desire, adventure and excitement. In fact, it’s where the fun and action begins. After Dark Whisky was rewarded with the Silver Medal at the Monde Selection Quality Award, 2011.” – Radico Khaitan Limited
After Dark is one of the few IMFLs that contain no molasses or neutral spirits and is made from 100% grain whiskies. It is bottled at 40% ABV (80°), and you can procure a 750ml package or $19.99. I found a 50ml taster for about $0.99.
So, how does After Dark hold up against the other Indian whiskies I’ve tried? The only way to find out is to #DrinkCurious.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, After Dark was gold in color. There is no indication this carries any e150a (or other) added colors. It created a thick rim that made even heavier legs that fell back to the pool.
Nose: Clean linen was the first thing I smelled. Probably like you, I’ve never listed that as a note before, but that’s what was there. Muted caramel and floral qualities hid beneath. When I took the air into my mouth, that lighter caramel remained.
Palate: The texture was soft and light-bodied. I tasted leather at the front of my palate, the middle featured honeysuckle, and the back combined clove and black pepper. There wasn’t much there from front to back.
Finish: Very astringent and bitter, I was able to identify clove through it. It was, thankfully, short.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: The finish overwhelmed anything that could have been positive in my experience. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a medicinal quality. Chewing on a mouthful of Band-Aids is not something I relish. To be blunt, there wasn’t much to like about After Dark. Could it make a sound mixer? I suppose that depends on how much “and Coke” you want to add to it. After Dark takes a solid Bust rating. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.