Started as a rum and brandy producer in the late-1940s, Amrut has since made a large splash in the whisky world, with the introduction of their Indian single malt whisky in the UK in 2004. Breaking the stereotypes of Indian whisky, Amrut is an excellent spirit, moulded by the climate in Bangalore to be quite distinct from the whisky produced in other countries.
The Amrut distillery was founded in 1948 as Amrut Laboratories. Established by Shri J N Radhakrishna, the company started blending and bottling various alcoholic beverages. During the 1950s and 1960s, Amrut launched products for the Indian armed forces as well as the general market; products included the dark rum Amrut XXX and Silver Cup Brandy. During the 1970s, Amrut began marketing a grape brandy called Bejois, made from Bangalore blue grapes.
It was not until the 1980s that the company began producing malt whisky. The guidelines for what constitutes a whisky in India are decidedly lax, in fact 90% of whisky consumed in India is made from molasses and blended malt whisky can contain as little as 4% malt whisky. Amrut strived to provide a better product that would meet global requirements and employed the help of whisky experts from Scotland to perfect the processes. The barley is specially grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and the whisky is matured at 3,000ft at Bangalore. Due to the tropical conditions, the whisky matures extremely quickly. As much as fifteen percent abv is lost every year to the angel’s share, thus it is unwise to mature it for much more than a few years, lest the product drops below forty percent abv and ceases to be whisky.
The Amalgam is not to be confused with the Fusion, a possibility if you were to loosely go by what these names literally meant. Both expressions hold their own ground, one being a single malt and the other being a blend. And No…the Amalgam isn’t your regular grain-malt mix but rather the first vatted whisky from an Indian distiller. The malts used are sourced from all across the globe: Asia, Scotland and those produced locally which are then skillfully blended by Amrut’s master blender and married in casks for a short while to craft what we know as the Amalgam.
Colour: Deep Copper
Nose : Fruity; concoction of Pears, nectarine and melon with an integrated sublime peat smoke.
Taste : Warm, malty and fruity with some tart from berries, star fruits and tangerine. Mildly woody and peat like with hints of honey, apples, spice and some cinnamon.
Finish : Medium- Sweet and fruity with mild white pepper.