Having heard about the increasingly popular whisky Amrut whilst working on a brand positioning project for a blended whisky that is huge in India, I have been eager to sample this intriguing Amrut Indian Single Malt
Three years later, as I sat watching the Superbowl in a hotel bar in Madrid I finally saw it in real life. What ensued was something quite remarkable.
The ordering process was about as tough as I’ve had as a whisky drinker of over fifteen years…
Barman: Ola, what would you like to drink?
Greg: Can I try the Amrut Indian single malt, never seen it in a bar before
Barman: Do you know Whisky?
Greg: Yes, a little… I collect it and write about it
Barman: Then why are you ordering this sh!t??
Greg: Err… To try and to assess. This will make a great blog post some day.
I’m glad I stuck to my guns and did not order something expected or ‘standard’. The measure you see in the photos is MASSIVE, roughly half a pint of whisky, for just €7 which should have told me something.
Every instinct and each inner head shake I could sense directed at me from the barman was telling me that this was going to be a bad idea, I even mentally drew up a shortlist of replacement drinks for when the first sip turned out to be disgraceful.
But both I and the barman was wrong.
Let’s not get carried away, it is not a marquee whisky, not is it something I would probably go out of my way to buy for the cabinet but it was a good session whisky that I would order from a hotel bar again. Mostly because I had half a pint of the stuff served to me, I had a lot of time to think about it as I watched Peyton Manning’s worst post-season game of his career.
There was something sweet about it, almost naive in taste and flavour profile, it is clearly aimed at those who like to unwind without having to dive into the expensive Scotch alternatives.
Not the deepest of flavour, watery at times, but enjoyable nonetheless.
With a creamy aftertaste that encouraged every next sip, it really was an experience I was unprepared for, the distillers (or bottlers) have done a really good job of creating the Amrut Indian Single Malt in Amrut that tells interesting provenance stories about using water from the Himalayas complete with batch numbers and distilling date on the bottle.
An interesting factoid I picked up about this single malt is that it is bottled relatively young due to the intense humidity / adverse climate in Bangalore that is not conducive to long term whisky maturation, maybe with a few more years it could have some more depth of character?
One question remains – why is Amrut Distilleries headquartered in Newcastle, UK? They did so well until the legalities.
OFFICIAL TASTING NOTES
Nose: Intense barley and grain, nutty, citrus, apricot.
Palate: Barley, honey develops with allspice, apricot, rum.
Finish: Apples, apricot, greengages, malt, fruit.
Overall: Very interesting, multifaceted.