Review: Amrut Fusion

History

Amrut ChairmanPlease see this post for more Amrut Distillery history. Amrut in sanskrit is translated as “nectar of the gods.” They’ve developed a cult following outside of India and currently sell their single malt whisky in 22 countries. The current main distillery was built in 1987 and is located in Kambipura, roughly 12 miles from Bangalore. In 2001 Rakshit Jagdale, the son of the current chairman, began gauging the interest for an Indian Single Malt in England by distributing samples to 250 Indian restaurants. After a blind tasting at a famous whisky bar in Glasgow, most drinkers favorably compared Amrut single malt whisky to a 12-15 year old scotch. This was a huge breakthrough for the distillery and they subsequently launched Amrut Single Malt Whisky in the European market in 2004. Curiously enough Amrut did not release their single malt whisky in India until 2010. The company made a conscious decision not to launch in India since the domestic demand for single malt whisky is much smaller compared to the foreign market.

Amrut Fusion is the whisky I’m sampling and reviewing today. It gets it’s name from the fact that two types of barley – Indian and Scottish – are used in this malt. The Indian barley is unpeated and the Scotland barley is peated. After distillation the whisky is aged in second-fill oak barrels. The whisky is bottled at a robust 50% ABV. While the bottle contains no age statement most of the whisky is younger than four years old while some may be as old as six years. It must be noted that India’s warm climate greatly speeds up maturation. In 2011 the influential Malt Advocate Magazine named Amrut Fusion as the “World Whisky of the Year.”

Tasting Notes

Amrut FusionNose: lemons, oaky, light brown sugar, oatmeal, cereal, light peat

Mouth: white pepper, treacle, peat, unidentified stone fruits, hay, vanilla custard

Finish: oak spice, light peat, fiery, spiciness carries on

Score: 78/100

Verdict: For starters the nose is a bit rough and brash. There is oak, light brown sugar, oatmeal, cereal, light peat and lemons. The citrus scent balances out the dry peat quite nicely. Weighing in at 50% ABV, this whisky packs a bit of a punch when you sip it. The palate has a big punch of spice, treacle, unidentified stone fruits and vanilla custard. It’s noticeably unbalanced and the white pepper dominates the flavor. On the finish oak spice reigns supreme with hints of light peat. The spice carries on for some time and leaves a somewhat harsh aftertaste. I did not like this as much as the Amrut Peated which I found to be quite good. While the Amrut Fusion is definitely bold, the flavors are a bit unrefined and tilted towards white pepper. I wish this dram was able to achieve more balance for the overwhelming spiciness. Kudos to Amrut for releasing this at 50% ABV though – it sure is fiery.

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