Review: Amrut Fusion Single Malt Indian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Amrut Fusion 2.jpg
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Amrut (Bangalore, India)

This well respected malt comes from a distillery near Bangalore, India. It sits at a stunning 3000 ft. above sea level, and has produced malts that have left even the Scottish amazed. Amrut means the “drink of the Gods” and aptly describes some of what they produce.The location means for a different maturation process – they lose much more through evaporation to the surroundings than a distillery in Scotland (or most places, for that matter) and the heat causes more wood-spirit interaction enabling them to mature excellent spirits quite quickly.

This whisky, Amrut Fusion, is named as the malted barley used to create the whisky comes from both Scotland (25% of the barley, and this portion is peated) and India (the remaining 75%). The fact that a large chunk of the barley is for India, along with the unique maturation conditions results in a malt that some unique flavours I haven’t find anywhere else. The whisky, roughly, is four years old, so it’s quite young – but as described above it doesn’t take as long to get a fair bit out of the wood.

Review (2012)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2012

Nose: There is smoke cleverly hidden among some roasted malt (as if you made a loaf of bread from malted barley – not as dense as malt loaf, but lighter), pear, vanilla, caramel pudding, apricot, and there’s another fruit, seeming of tropical nature. There’s some creamy orange, as if a pudding was made with orange peel. The nose does well to sit with…I find I can enjoy taking my time with the nose.  There’s even a touch of mint in places. I do like this nose! And it is growing on me as my glass sits…A creamy, rich, fruity nose with hints of smoke and spice.

Taste: The whisky hits the front of the tongue, with some beautiful sweet maltiness and honey before a bit of salty smoke comes in mid-palate amidst some oranges and peaches, and then a dose of slightly bitter oak before the spices roam around your tongue gently after the whisky.  Oak is also present throughout – it’s not overly oaked, but there is a light oakiness to it, and it’s a touch sappy. It’s quite juicy, and has a quality to it that reminds me of grapes. It has quite the effect on the palate – it certainly spices up your mouth and leaves it warmer for a bit after the whisky has gone down, almost as if you put a pinch or two of cayenne pepper in it.

Finish: The oak comes in at first, and there’s nice feel to it. It has bits of fruit – honey, wintergreen, orange and dried apricot, but not a lot of it. It’s a bit of honey sweetness in the finish, too. There is the slightest hint of dry smoke, as well, which grows. I do quite like some of the tingly spice which plays with the mouth for a bit, though, and it keeps my attention very well. The finish seems to draw your mouth together, as if your cheeks expand. However, a bit more flavour in the finish might not be so bad.

It is quite an interesting whisky, and I do like the fruit in the malt as well as the spice. It’s odd – it almost asks for a bit of water, and I think they could have produced a pretty great product at 46% as well. I think sometimes the spice can be a bit much, and water can help, and yet I think it flattens out the experience a bit.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. This is about par for the course in terms of what you get for what you pay.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2019

The nose is rich with woody spices, tropical fruit, smoke, pear, pineapple, prunes, marmalade, clove, cinnamon sticks, molasses, and dried ramen noodles. It has a really nice, rich, umami-type character. The palate follows suit, emphasizing dried fruits, woody spice, oak, and some dried apple. Nice vanilla, but don’t mistake that note into thinking this is confectionary. Tabacco spice on the end, lots more dried fruit, and even a touch of lavender. Nice savoury notes. The whisky doesn’t seem quite as fruity as last time, but I do just love this profile – very Amrut.

This is very good…I think it would be even moreso at cask strength (though it would be hot!). I like this more than the last time I had it.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Upper end of average, based on $83.