Amrut is an Indian Single Malt brand that was first launched in Glasgow, Scotland back in 2004 but the company roots go back much further…
Amrut Distilleries Ltd was founded in 1948 by JD Radhakrishna Rao Jagd with the intention of producing ‘Indian Made Foreign Liqour’, that is, spirits that were non-indigenous to India. At this time, India had no culture of single malt consumption and often malt whisky from Scotland was imported and blended with spirit made from sugarcane or molasses. In 1976 Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, son of the companies founder, took over the running of the business and began to set his sights on a change in direction. By 1982, Jagdale had made a decision to start producing his own malt whisky from locally grown barley which he could then blend with other locally made spirits.
Somewhere along the way, Amrut noticed that whisky maturation is very different in a warm climate like India than in say, Scotland where annual evaporation is around 2%. In India, they were losing closer to 11 or 12% a year but found that this faster evaporation also led to quicker maturation and a 3, 4 or 5 year old Indian Whisky was showing the character you’d expect from a 10 or even 12 year old Scotch.
In 1987 a new distillery was built in Kambipura on a huge 4 acre site and less than 20 years later, the decision was made to go worldwide with a single malt brand made entirely in India.
Although initially fairly well received it took a while for Amrut to gain a reputation. Whisky drinkers can be a stubborn lot and to be fair, it was very uncommon to see a new single malt coming from somewhere like India. Over time though a bit of a buzz began to grow and since those early days Amrut has gone on to some great reviews from some very prominent commentators and multiple medals at various whisky and spirits awards.
The Scores: About the Scoring…
Smell: 18 / 20. Vanilla and Digestive Biscuits with Honey and Floral, Aromatic Peat Smoke that creates quite an exotic nose.
Taste: 18 / 20. Biscuit and Honey, Orange Cream and subtle Peat Smoke with a touch of Coffee, some soft Cinnamon Spice and a pleasant silky texture on the palate.
Value for Money: 8 / 10. Costs around £50 in the UK, not a bad price to pay for a malt with this character and quality. Of course, bottled at 50% you also get more bang for your buck.
Overall: 44 / 50. Altogether a very tempting package for those looking to expand their horizons a little. The quality of single malt on offer here allows Amrut to stand shoulder to shoulder with it’s Scottish cousins and it should now be one of the first stops on any world whisky tour.