Amrut

Amrut Distilleries Ltd was founded in Bangalore in 1948 and is a major producer of distilled spirits for the domestic Indian market.

Most domestic Indian ‘whisky’ is distilled from molasses but in the early 1980s Amrut began...

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Amrut Distilleries Ltd was founded in Bangalore in 1948 and is a major producer of distilled spirits for the domestic Indian market.

Most domestic Indian ‘whisky’ is distilled from molasses but in the early 1980s Amrut began making whisky from malted and unmalted Indian barley.  This spirit was generally aged for around a year - the Indian climate makes the angel’s share percentage of evaporation around 11-12% per annum, so long ageing is not possible - before being blended with sugarcane spirit to produce a domestic Indian whisky. 

The different maturation conditions created by India’s climate (despite the distillery being situated 3000ft above sea level in the foothills of the Himalayas) result in much faster oak and oxygen influence on Amrut’s spirit.

The company uses a rule of thumb equating one year of Indian maturation to three years of maturation in Scotland and thus it’s little surprise that Amrut’s standard single malt is often compared to a 10-year-old single malt Scotch whisky.

Amrut soon developed loftier ambitions for their Indian single malt whisky and decided to try and crack the European market by launching in the UK. Amrut Single Malt Whisky, now aged for the EU-defined minimum of at least three years, was first introduced to Europe in Glasgow’s legendary Cafe India curry house in August 2004. 

Stylistically, the standard Amrut Indian single malt is not dissimilar to an entry-level Speyside, displaying honeyed and summer fruit notes alongside richer syrupy flavours, cooked fruit and spices. The distillery has a refreshing flair for creative experimentation and innovation, unrestrained by the Scotch Whisky Association’s fussy regulations.  

It was one such innovation that proved the breakthrough for Amrut in the European market. Amrut Fusion - distilled from a mix of Indian malted barley and imported peated Scottish barley - won Best Natural Cask in the Malt Maniacs Awards 2009, was named Third Best Whisky in the World in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010 and won Malt Advocate’s World Whisky of the Year in 2011.

A combination of Amrut’s easy-drinking house style with a peated edge and a higher strength (50%), Amrut Fusion was an instant hit and remains one of the distillery’s most popular bottlings.

The resulting avalanche of press coverage and runaway word-of-mouth success of Amrut Fusion cemented Amrut’s position as one of the most interesting world whiskies on the international scene and opened the door for more experimentation and demand for single cask expressions.

In addition to their standard range, Amrut now produce a large number of single casks of both peated and unpeated malts for different markets, including full strength editions from a variety of different cask types. In 2016 the company released the oldest Indian single malt ever bottled, the appropriately-titled Greedy Angels 12-Year-Old Chairman’s Reserve.

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