Is whisky your smoky poison of choice? Then, The Keeper of the Quaich is the society you have to keep an eye out for. By Gayatri Moodliar

For die-hard scotch whisky fans, The Keeper of the Quaich is one of the most elite societies to be a part of. The society takes its name from the traditional two-handled drinking cup, described in the ancient Gaelic language of Scotland as a ‘cuach’ or quaich, a vessel long associated with the golden elixir. 

The society’s driving force is to reward all those who manage to make significant contributions to the world of whisky, whether it be in the form of writings or other works. A select few are invited each year to be distinguished with the role of Master of the Quaich, a rare and revered privilege. Earlier this month, the Indian chapter was launched with an exclusive dinner at The Leela Palace, Udaipur 

The exclusive gala hosted guests from the society and other notable persons who had made their mark in the industry. Joining markets such as Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and the Nordics, the Indian chapter is the eighth one to be formed. 

The dinner was expertly curated so as to pair the culinary options with selected whiskies, such as Glenfiddich 21-year-old, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, thereby making it an experience in itself. Guests also enjoyed the evening’s entertainment by renowned Scottish bagpiper Laura Mennie and Rajasthani performers.

Keeper of the Quaich
Scottish bagpiper Laura Mennie.

The distinguished guest list included the Duke of Argyll and Captain Maharaj Raghav Raj Singh of Udaipur.  

James Pennefather, Managing Director, William Grant & Sons India, was presented with a ceremonial Quaich and appointed the chairman of the Indian chapter.

The Keepers of the Quaich
The presentation of the Quaich to James Pennefather.

Other committee members include Rajiv Kaul, President of the Leela Hotels, Amrit Kiran Singh, Executive Chairman, International Spirits & Wines Association and Guillaume Girard-Reydet, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard India. 

James Pennefather, Chairman of the Indian Chapter and Managing Director, William Grant & Sons India said, “It is testimony to the potential of the Indian market combined with the efforts of so many Scotch Whisky pioneers here over the years that India has now been chosen to establish its own Chapter of the Keepers of the Quaich. As well as being a magnificent celebration, tonight is a clear statement of intent by the Scotch Whisky industry that India will remain a key focus for our fabulous spirit.”

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