Did you know that there is a distillery in Pakistan?
Alcohol consumption is illegal, but that wasn’t made law until 1979 by the Hudood Ordinance. The Murree Brewery is the oldest and largest brewery in Pakistan. It doesn’t have much competition (is almost a monopoly there) due to the government’s strict regulation of alcohol.
Murree Brewery Company Ltd. was established in 1860 to provide beer for British soldiers and personnel stationed in India. The brewery struggled through water shortages, natural disasters, and different ownership, but has survived through it all. In the 1960’s the brewery began distilling and aging single malt whiskey. They now have over 500,000 liters of whiskey aging in their underground storage cellars. They age a 12 year old and released a rare 20 year old malt whiskey in 2007.
You may think it strange that a country with 97% of its citizens barred from drinking should have a brewery/distillery. Pakistan is part of a large Muslim community with history going back millennia. Prohibition would not work there.
Murray beer was awarded a medal at the Philadelphia Worlds Fair in 1876. It’s received awards various international awards over its 150 years. Jim Murray has highly rated Murree’s 8 year old single malt. “Not only does (Murree whisky) compare favorably, it is much better than a number of less-known Scotch malts,” Murray wrote. “Crisp and delicate … so good is this whisky that … (you) smell a drained glass in the morning and you are swamped by its fabulously honeyed riches.”