Friday, December 7, 2018

Master class on Single Malts by Krishna Prasad Nukala

Krishna Prasad Nukala is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He epitomises living life to the fullest, following his passions to the ends of the earth, literally. He has travelled far and wide and experienced much. Whether it is Scotland to follow his passion for Scotch whisky and single malts, Spain, USA, North eastern India, Kashmir (trout fishing) or some remote village in Maharashtra for some experience he found interesting. Prasad is also a fine cricket player and loves the game and we played together for a couple of seasons for MCC. After retiring voluntarily from SIDBI where he worked as a Deputy General Manager then, he worked for a while with Kirby systems. Today, he is one of the foremost authorities on single malts in India and frequently gives talks on his passion. He is the only one from India who is part of an elite group of malt experts and lovers called Malt Maniacs.
Krishna Prasad checking his malt dramming glass while his little beauties are lined up before him

I had an experience of malt tasting once when he came home a decade ago. It was a wonderful experience. So I invited him home again when Raja and Satish were in town so they could enjoy listening to his experiences. Raja is a single malt enthusiast and I was sure he would enjoy it. Prasad garu landed up on time as always, fully equipped with his malts. He even got the glasses which he said will enhance the 'dramming' experience for us.

The evening started with an introduction into his experiences with single malt and how he got into the Malt Madness group. Challenged by the group's head to prove his madness for malt, he took off from London where he had gone to attend some program, to Scotland, got off a bus in the middle of nowhere in freezing temperatures and with no warm clothing, nor a soul in sight. That he got off on the wrong side of the island was another issue. However, the single malt gods had an eye on him and sent him along an old couple who dropped him off at the distillery he wanted to visit. The distillery was shut but the master distiller was still there, keys in hand. When he heard of this man from India who had come to Scotland to see the distillery, he changed his plans, opened the distillery and gave him a tour. This experience was good enough for the Malt Maniacs and they admitted him into their elite group of 17. They taste exotic malts from across the globe, rate it, and share their passion and love with others.

Prasad garu took us around the world of malts - from Scotland to Taiwan to Japan to India, while telling us what legs were, what flavours to expect, what peat means and so on. We tasted Glenfarclas Oban, Beneromach, Mortlach, Bummahabhain, Mars Shinshu, Caolla, Kavalan, Edradour, Ben Nevis, Ardbeg, Amrut, Paul John. A few sips of each but wonderful to taste such exotic tastes. One has to experience it to understand the difference. There is a nice warm buzz, a delighted exclamation at the taste that surprises you, a shake of the head at the wonder of such creations. Beautiful.

Despite a long evening spent of tasting the malts, we were in fine nick the next day unlike the regular drinks that leave you flattened. And listening to Prasad garu's experiences, insights and explanations was very enlightening and entertaining. It was truly an evening to cherish and remember, one that Raja said 'we won't forget in a hurry.'

Thank you Prasad garu.

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