Pakistan brewery produces Muslim world’s first 20-year whisky

Isambard Wilkinson in The Telegraph:

Screenhunter_04_mar_02_1217Under Pakistani law it cannot be drunk by 97 per cent of the country and it cannot be exported.

But the production of the rare whisky has coincided with an unprecedented debate in Pakistan about the prohibition on drinking alcohol. In 1977 the former prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, bowed to the demands of Islamic political parties and imposed an alcohol ban on Muslims.

Since then the brewery has officially been catering for the three per cent of Pakistan’s population that comprises of the non-Muslim communities of Christians, Hindus and those of Mr Bhandara’s Zoroastrian faith.

However, the ingenuity of thirsty Pakistanis means that rather a lot of the 660,000 gallons of beer that Murree produces every year and the 110,000 gallons of whisky that is stored in its cellars reaches a Muslim clientele.

“I think 99 per cent of my customers are Muslim,” said Mr Bhandara, who is an Oxford-educated MP.

The official punishment sanctioned by the Koran of 80 lashes with an oil-soaked whip has never been applied.

More here.  [Thanks to Samad Khan.]