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Crafted Water For Your Best Whiskies And Gins

Estuary bottled water is specially crafted to help you get the best out of your expensive single malts, vodkas, and gins.

I’m not sure if it was psychological, but my Glenmorangie 10 YO did taste better when I added a dash of Estuary Single Malt Blending Water to it. My friend’s Stranger & Sons gin, too, exhibited more bounce than usual. Maybe Estuary’s blending water, also available for gins and vodkas, does make a difference, or maybe not.

Launched during the lockdown, Estuary, its makers claim, is the world’s first ‘blending water’, which they describe as a “new category of crafted water, with precisely sculpted TDS (total dissolved solids) levels, that makes spirits taste smoother and more flavourful”. Different blends are used for different alcohols. So, Single Malt Blended Water is different from Whisky Blended Water, which is different from Gin and Vodka Blended Waters.

Estuary was a singular product until earlier this year when competitors appeared on the horizon, both nationally and globally. Devashish Kamdar, the man behind this “new category of crafted water”, sees the competition — and the consequent expansion of the category — as a vindication of his belief that the world does need a blending water.

Kamdar, who is the scion of an Ahmedabad-based bridal jewellery business, is no whisky snob — he mostly sticks to Black Label and Glenfiddich 15YO. But he often wondered why the malts he imbibed tasted better at certain places, and why they tasted different depending on the water used (tap and bottled).

The Scots have long suggested that the dash of water in your whisky should be from the same source as the whisky, and, if you are considering it, there are companies such as Uisge Source, which offer “different spring waters from private sources close to some of the popular distilleries in three of Scotland’s whisky regions.” A case of 12 50ml Speyside Water costs £36 or about Rs 3,300. A pack of four 750 ml bottles of Estuary Single Malt Water is priced at Rs 1700, Whisky Water at Rs 1500, and Gin and Vodka at Rs 1300.

The pricing has nothing to do with the source of the water and is made using a patented process. “There is a great variability in the properties of water. Spring water will be “thick”, natural mineral water will be thinner, while mountain water will have a lot more total dissolved solids or mineral content than either of the two. The same whisky will taste different, depending on which of these waters you use. Estuary, on the other hand, has been specially crafted to be blended with different kinds of spirits,” says Kamdar.

The groundwater undergoes seven layers of distillation at the company’s facility in Jamnagar, Gujarat, and these include reverse osmosis, ozonisation, fortification, filtration, and UV ozonation. “Estuary’s blending water is mineralised and crafted to be had with either whisky (both single malt and blended), or gin, or vodka. It helps to open up, for instance, a whisky’s flavour profile. There is actual science behind it,” Kamdar says.

According to Kamdar, Glenmorangie tasted noticeably different because Estuary’s blended water helps disperse the flavours evenly across the palate. The stronger the dispersion, the better the flavour, and this is achieved through ‘hydrogenic composition’ which, he says, refers to the effortless manner in which the blending water amplifies the flavour molecules in the spirit and perfectly balances the whisky.

According to Kamdar, Glenmorangie tasted noticeably different because Estuary’s blended water helps disperse the flavours evenly across the palate. The stronger the dispersion, the better the flavour, and this is achieved through ‘hydrogenic composition’ which, he says, refers to the effortless manner in which the blending water amplifies the flavour molecules in the spirit and perfectly balances the whisky.

Two and a half years after its launch, Estuary is now available in 4,000 outlets across India, including premium hotels and restaurants in the country. The blending water was launched in London in November last year and is also available in some of Singapore’s top whisky bars. It was also the official blending water at the annual Scottish Whisky Awards last year and has been part of several whisky tastings conducted by the likes of the Single Malt Amateur Club of India.

Kamdar plans to take Estuary across the world in due course. “Estuary complements the entire alcohol industry. In Asia, on average, one would need 10 bottles of Estuary for every bottle of whisky. In the west, it would be less, but it’s still a significant number. Which is why we decided to go in for a patented process, which can be applied to facilities in New York, or China, or Malaysia,” he says.

Lead Images: Estuary