Thursday, 24 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #111

Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky (46% abv OB, Bottled 2012 70cl)
Indian Single Malt Whisky
Circa £30.00 70cl

The core expression from Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky
I was really keen to try some Indian whisky after just missing out at the London Whisky Fest, so made my way towards their stand early in the show, and reintroduced myself to the Icons of Whisky, Whisky Ambassador of the Year, Ashok Chokalingam

The history of Amrut Distilleries is as old as the history of independent India itself, and started in 1948 under the name Amrut Laboratories. From its beginning as single bottling unit catering primarily to the Canteen Stores of the Ministry of Defence and to local customers in and around Bangalore, Amrut Distilleries has now grown into a notable whisky producer after launching it's first single malt in 2004, in Glasgow of all places!

Today Amrut single malt whiskies are available in all the major countries in Western Europe, Scandinavia, three provinces in Canada, United States and is further expanding.

Amrut is made from selected Indian malted barley grown in Punjab and Rajasthan, the northwest frontier states of India. In Punjab, the waters from the great Himalayas flow through the river Sutlej and irrigate the land under the Bhakra Nangal Dam scheme. The cold winters and fiery summers create a unique quality of grain, rich in flavour. Malting takes place at maltsters in Jaipur and Delhi according to the standards laid down by Amrut.

The malted barley is then transported to the south of India to the distillery in Bangalore where it is carefully mashed and distilled in small batches. The spirit is then matured in imported oak barrels for over three years in their unique tropical conditions, all warehoused at the distillery

I asked Ashok  to take me on an Amrut journey and he suggested I started with their core expression, Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky, bottled at a respectable 46%, this whisky has been matured in a mixture of New American Oak and ex-bourbon before bottling, without chill-filtration and naturally coloured.

So what did I think?

It didn't take me long to realise that Amrut is very serious about making their whisky. This core expression has a beautiful aroma; with intense barley and grain with honey and toffee sweetness, bourbon liquorice notes, and perhaps, even a little sweet citrus.

The tastes is both fruity and spicy, and has a sweetness to it, which made it a wonderful all-round tasting experience, going down very easily!

The taste doesn't linger too long though, but certainly long enough to enjoy the experience, and yes I wanted another dram, however, Ashok had something already up his sleeve and said; "Wait until you try the cask strength version of this" I must get some Indian whisky for my shelf soon.

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