Poland's Glenmaster maker will buy barley from a cold desert in India to make whisky

  • Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Spiti will be the new hotspot for producing exotic barley used in whisky production.
  • Last week, Himachal Pradesh government signed a pact with the Polish spirits producer which will invest ₹110 crore for its organic Himalayan single malt whisky.
  • The Himachal Pradesh government is trying to revive the agriculture in the area.
The snow-capped peaks of the Himachal’s Lahaul valley will grow exotic barley from Scotland to make whisky. Last week, Himachal Pradesh government signed a pact with the Polish spirits producer which will invest ₹110 crore for its organic Himalayan single malt whisky.

“Once known for producing a bitter taste hops, contract farming of barley in the remote Lahaul Valley, which has a cultivation season for less than five months from May owing to heavy snowfall and extreme cold climatic conditions, will usher economic prosperity,” said Agriculture Minister and local legislator Ram Lal Markanda.
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India one of the largest producer and consumer of whisky in the world. It consumes 48% of the world’s whisky.

India one of the largest producer and consumer of whisky in the world. It consumes 48% of the world’s whisky.

Top Indian brands of whisky like Seagram’s and Imperial Blue are widely popular around the world.

Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Spiti will be the new hotspot for producing exotic barley used in whisky production.

Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Spiti will be the new hotspot for producing exotic barley used in whisky production.

The Lahaul Valley comprises of over two dozen small, scattered villages. They are cut off from the rest of the world for over four months from December onwards owing to the heavy snow accumulation in the Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) -- the only road link with Manali in Kullu district.

The Lahaul Valley comprises of over two dozen small, scattered villages. They are cut off from the rest of the world for over four months from December onwards owing to the heavy snow accumulation in the Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) -- the only road link with Manali in Kullu district.

​The Himachal Pradesh government is trying to revive the agriculture in the area.

​The Himachal Pradesh government is trying to revive the agriculture in the area.

This is an opportunity for farmers in Himachal who otherwise find it difficult to cultivate, and suffer losses due to snowfall.

​Lahaul Spiti has seen a sharp decline in the production of bitter hops, a key ingredient in brewing beer.

​Lahaul Spiti has seen a sharp decline in the production of bitter hops, a key ingredient in brewing beer.

In the last ten years, the cash crop potato cultivation in the Valley declined from 2,000 hectares to about 700 --- leaving barren cold land behind.

The company will pay ₹50,000 to for an acre’s produce -- which is 25 % more than the market price.

The company will pay ₹50,000 to for an acre’s produce -- which is 25 % more than the market price.

"Barley is a cash crop here, but largely for local consumption and livestock. If there is a contract farming for high-yield barley, it is a good opportunity for the growers to get remunerative price," said Neilson Europe President Gaurav Rajput.

Initially, 200 farmers of the Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba district will start cultivation.

Initially, 200 farmers of the Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba district will start cultivation.

Credits: lifeinspiti.com

“The geographic and climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh is on a par with Scotland's and many other European regions which will lead to deriving a unique and special terroir,” according to Zouk Vodka, a polish vodka brand.

“The geographic and climatic conditions of Himachal Pradesh is on a par with Scotland's and many other European regions which will lead to deriving a unique and special terroir,” according to Zouk Vodka, a polish vodka brand.
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