Mumbai just saw the successful conclusion of the inaugural The Vault Biennale—a two-day event dedicated to luxury beverages from across the world. The event was the brainchild of Keshav Prakash, Founder & Curator, The Vault, a company that offers a curated collection of artisanal whiskies, gins, rums, tequilas and other spirits. For those who are looking to explore and experiment with newer flavours, spirits and brands, The Biennale had it all. Masterclasses that gave you first-hand experiences of the story in a bottle (or glass); Spirited Stories, a series of sessions and conversations, got together like-minded speakers to delve a little deeper into what it means to be part of a business that is so varied and of course the luxury spirits brands that had you spellbound with the variety.
In four years, since The Vault Fine Spirits was established, Prakash has decidedly changed the profile of what luxury spirits meant in India. He was one of the early ones to introduce uber-luxury and flavoursome gin brands, leading the way to what is now colloquially known as ‘gin-aissance’ in India. He also brought whisky brands, which broke the illusion that a good single malt needs to be a minimum of 12 years old! Creating a one of a kind intellectual property such as The Vault Biennale seems like the obvious next step for Prakash.
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We spoke to Prakash to find out the origin story of The
Vault Biennale and why he thought India needed a gathering such as this.
What was the thought behind The Vault Biennale?
When I discovered the world of single malts I dived deep to
realise that there was not much of a choice in India, so I embarked on a
mission to bring some interesting spirits and also build a culture of
appreciation locally. I came back to India and started The Vault because we
wanted to address this gap, where we did not see access to a lot of independent
and craft spirits in the country.
The Vault Biennale is simply an extension of the same philosophy and what we do, so that we help build a community that truly appreciates fine drinking. The Biennale aims to be one of a kind festival in India, and maybe Asia, where the curated audience has the chance to meet curated brands.
How long has The
Vault Biennale been in the planning and what were the key takeaways for an
attendee? Once The Vault project started, it was an extensive travelling of two
years, we curated everything in our portfolio and sometimes we take months and
up to year before. We include brands in our portfolio after a very careful
study, survey internationally, visiting the brands mostly where they are made.
The key takeaways for attendees from The Vault Biennale were the stories from the makers of spirits, a community, and knowledge about the spirits.
How do you see The Vault Biennale leaving a mark in the luxury sector?
The Vault Biennale saw for the first time the country is going to witness three of world’s 50 best bars visiting. People those who haven’t got an opportunity to travel abroad, they were able to experience the level of international mixology that world’s best bars offer. There was also on the sidelines a summit where we addressed the F&B trade on how to balance profit and loss with creativity and consumer experience. Besides it was an excellent training ground and a learning experience for young and upcoming people of the Industry.
Image courtesy: The Vault
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