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Amrut - Indian single malt whisky

 11 May 2010  

Amrut, the Indian single malt whisky, has grown quite pop­ular re­cently. I've read sev­eral reviews of Amrut that have made me quite curious - Gordon's tast­ing notes on Spirit of Islay are es­pe­cially positive. It's about time I tried Amrut myself, I thought, so I picked up three minis at a visit to a certain German whisky fair...

The Amrut dis­til­lery is situated in Bangalore and was es­tab­lished in 1948. However, it wasn't until 2003 or so that they started dis­til­ling a single malt whisky. The malted barley used comes from the north of India ("grown at the feet of the Himalayas") but their peated whiskies are made from barley sourced in Scotland. The climate is such that the whisky evap­or­ates quite quickly during maturation - the casks apparently lose over 10% of their content per year. In contrast to the conditions in Scotland, the water evap­or­ates quicker than the alcohol thus the alcoholic strength actually increases over time!

Now to my tast­ing notes:

Amrut 46%:
Nice nose with malt, honey, citrus and an oaky spiciness. Without water the palate is quite hot and de­velops a lot of oak. Oaky, spicy, dis­ap­point­ing finish. With a little water added the oak recedes a bit which reveals a nice sweetness and fresh notes of orange and lime. Nice, oaky, peppery finish with citrus fruits. All in all rather nice and moreish although a bit on the oaky side. (85 p)

Amrut Fusion 50%:
Made from Indian unpeated malt and Scottish peated malt. Peaty, malty nose, also earthy and musty (but that works well with the peat) with a note of citrus. Sweet, peaty palate, de­velops very nice notes of mint and citrus. Dis­ap­point­ing finish with mostly oak. All in all it's nice yet a bit unbal­anced. But an in­ter­est­ing experiment! (84 p)

Amrut Peated 62.8%:
Made from Scottish malt peated at 24 ppm. Rather nice nose - quite peaty with a note of iodine, also a little earthy with a cereal note. Quite sweet, quite peaty palate. It's youngish yet rather nice and de­velops nice notes of mint and citrus. Very nice finish with peat, iodine and a little oak. (85 p)

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