He took on the scots first…
What kind of person does it take to convince the Scots that there might be a whisky other than Scotch worthy of their time proven tastebuds? And that this whisky might come from a former colony known more for spirituality than fine spirits? A man with no prior proven record in the whisky or even liquor business. One willing to clock 300,000 solo miles on the road in the UK, wearing out two cars, a Vauxhall Astra, a Ford Mondeo and nearly a third, a Mercedes-Benz in order to convince this whisky nation that there is a place for world whiskies when nary a market existed anywhere.
Well it takes a mighty determined guy born in Tamil Nadu, India, schooled as a Mechanical Engineer in the UK, armed with only a dissertation on the viability of Indian Single Malt Whisky from the son of the distillery owner to start pounding the pavement in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and end up conquering 42 countries worldwide in just 12 years.
That man is Ashok Chokalingam and in 2012 and again in 2016 he was recognized for his perseverance and contributions to the world of Whisky by industry peers as the Icons of Whisky - World Whisky Ambassador - Whisky Magazine, UK.
Launched in the USA in 2010, Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky has firmly captured the hearts of American single malt whisky aficionados. Widely available across America at both fine spirit specialty stores, as well as large format retail stores such as Total Wine & More and even Costco.
ASHOK CHOKALINGAM - Head of International Operations
Ashok is a well known and widely respected personality in the global whisky industry. Ashok was awarded the ‘Icons of Whisky’, Whisky Ambassador of the Year in 2012 and 2016 by Whisky Magazine, U.K.
The now established success of Amrut Indian Single Malt Whiskies in over 42 countries is widely credited to Ashok's years of determined global travel. As the original Indian whisky missionary Ashok established the brand between 2004 and 2008 by clocking nearly 300,000 miles on the road in the UK alone, wearing out 3 cars in his travels. After which as an established and widely respected whisky expert Ashok travelled the globe in his words, "preaching and teaching” both industry professionals and whisky aficionados on the ways of Indian Single Malt Whisky.
In recent years Ashok has travelled less, allowing him to work as the assistant to Master Distiller Surrinder Kumar on the production of single malts where he has long had input into the development of many of the exclusive and special single malt offerings the distillery has innovated, such as the widely coveted Spectrum.