Pakistani 21-year-old Scotch nears launch

If you're looking for that thoughtful-and-unusual gift for the Scotch aficionado in your life, try looking toward Pakisatan.

Murree Brewing Co., the only malt whiskey distillery in the Muslim world, is preparing a January launch of a new product, a 21-year-old single malt Scotch whisky.

The trick is, you probably have to know someone who knows someone to get some. Murree's product lines, which already include 8- and 12-year-old single malts, cannot legally be exported. And, by law, only members of Pakistan's tiny non-Muslim minority can obtain a permit to buy liquor for home consumption.

Of course, that doesn't prevent a black market trade in whiskies, especially from the Rawalpindi-based Murree firm whose chief executive, M.P. Bhandara, told the Associated Press, "Very few distilleries anywhere in the world, even the high-end ones in Scotland, produce 21-year-old malts."

The Murree Brewery was established in 1861 to provide beer for occupying British troops, thus the "brewing" in the name. While it continues to brew beer, it has been making Scotch whisky, to good reviews, since the early 1960s. Murree also manufactures energy drinks, glass containers and food products.

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