Sunday, January 16, 2011

Global Tippler – Indian Whisky

It's the spring of 2010 and I'm visiting with a local friend and fellow whiskey enthusiast. It's a very pleasant day so we plant ourselves on the back patio shaded by a large umbrella to enjoy some libations and a cigar or two. My friend says "I want you to try something. I'm not going to tell you what it is, just see if you can guess". Ok, I'm always up to try some new whiskey, so he goes inside and comes out with a Glencairn filled with some sort of liquid delight. I nose it and can tell it's malted and is very reminiscent of Scotch. I say it's Scotch and he just shakes his head no (with a Cheshire grin on his face). Puzzled, I jump next door and say "Irish". Nope. I continue to nose and taste the whisky and then it hits me. I say "this can't be Indian". Yep. Since when does whisky like this come out of India! Well, now.

Amrut Fusion comes from the Amrut Distillery in Bangalore India and this particular whisky is a marriage of two different barley; Indian and Scottish (which is peated). This "fusion" works so well that Jim Murray awarded this the third best whisky of 2010. I'm no expert but this is an excellent whisky from a country that isn't known for top shelf whisky and my hope and prayer is that Amrut continues to turn out Fusion as well as other unique and distinctive offerings.

Color: Light golden hue

Nose: Whisky exhibits a nice balance of peat, tropical fruit and a honeyed sweetness

Entry: Bold start with a mix of alcohol and sweet, peat, spice, mild pepper and more tropical fruit (e.g. pineapple, mango). Excellent!

Finish: Sweetness drops off and the finish moves toward an earthy peaty profile, with a toasted/smoky oak ending

I'm not one for the smoke and peat flavor profile but Amrut uses these two components just to tease the palate; it's never overstated. This really is an excellent whisky so if you like to venture outside the norm, grab a bottle, it's a wonderful dram and not too harsh on the wallet.

Name: Amrut Fusion

Distiller: Amrut Distillery, Bangalore India

Availability: Limited (somewhat due to popularity)

Price: $60 plus

Size: 750ml

Our final stop; Land of Rising Sun!


  1. Greg, fantastic review. I've been wanting to try this badly, and it sounds like you enjoyed it. We can't find a drop here thus far unfortunately. Hopefully soon!

  2. Jason - I enjoyed this one very much. My State ABC doesn't carry this one yet so I'll have to purchase via internet if I want to add a bottle to the bunker. The Fusion sells out rather quickly due to its popularity.

  3. Greg, i was able to source a 2 oz sample from a good man on the west coast. Just absolutely stellar stuff. Few things live up to the hype. Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray - well that's probably a stretch. But this is brilliant whisky. Big, rich, lush, golden fruit, and as you eluded too...hauntingly smoky. It's there but it never abuses you.

  4. Jason - glad you were able to enjoy a pour of this very good whisky. I'm trying to find a bottle locally and avoid shipping costs. There's a store not too far from me that has nice selection of foreign whisky (I've been eyeballing a Middleton Rare) so I may go and check out their selection. I'll score a bottle some way.

  5. What batch number did you try?