Swede obsessed with Bengaluru booze bottles

Swede obsessed with Bengaluru booze bottles

Dennis Steckel has the largest collection of Amrut bottles. The Bengaluru brand is sold all over the world

A football trainer, an IKEA employee and a whiskey connoisseur -- Dennis Steckel is certainly an intriguing mix.

He also happens to be one of the biggest fans of Amrut, a brand of Indian single malt whisky with a Bengaluru connection. Amrut Distilleries Ltd was founded in the city in 1948 by JN Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale.

Dennis is the proud owner of over 200 bottles collection of very rare Amrut Whiskies from around the world, some of which even members of the Jagdale family haven’t seen. His love for the beverage led him to create ‘Amrut Fever Club’, an international closed group which has over 3000 members now.

In the city recently as a guest of the brand, Dennis spoke to Metrolife about his fascination with the whiskey.

When did you first try Amrut for the first time?

In 2014 in Sweden. I thought the name ‘Amrut’ was very interesting and I just had to try it. I loved it. I am a person who, if I like something, keeps going back to it, and this is how the collection started. 

What makes it different?

Everything; I love everything about Amrut. I also got a chance to visit their factory and I found it to be quite different from the usual corporate set up. There were many women involved in the process and the entire structure was very family-like.

The most special bottle in your collection? Was it difficult to source it?

They released a whiskey called ‘Greedy Angels’; I felt a kind of affinity with the logo used in it, I felt that I was the angel. I even got a tattoo of the angel on my forearm, along with my kids’ faces. 

The first 12-year-old single malt to be produced in India, Amrut Greedy Angels 12 Year Old, was very difficult to source. There are only 100 bottles of it in the world. I traded a much more valuable Scottish whiskey to get my hands on this one.

Where do you get bottles from?

I have collected bottles from all around the world. We have an ‘Amrut Fever Club’ which has tie-ups with Taiwan, US, Netherlands, France and so on. The members help Amrut fans from around the world build their collection.

Isn’t this an expensive hobby?

Yes, but it’s worth it.

Where do you keep the bottles?

I have a special place in my house; I call it the ‘Amrut Room’. You should not always keep the bottles in your shelf, they are for viewing pleasure also. I always try to buy two bottles; one for then and one for later years. 

Is this your first visit to India?

Third but still everything is an experience for me - the climate, the food, the people and so on. I love it here; the climate in Bengaluru is just perfect now. The first day I was here, I clicked a lot of pictures.

At my workplace, there are 350 Indians in the same building. We have a lot of things to talk about all the time.

 

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