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And now for something completely different: Indian whisky

December 22nd, 2008

A representative of the Amrut distillery in India contacted me about a month ago. He told me that they want to start importing their whisky into the United States beginning in 2009. I have never tried their whisky before, but always wanted to. Jim Murray rates most of their expressions in the 90s, so they must be doing something right.

They sent me samples of three different expressions: their standard single malt, a limited edition cask-strength single malt, and a limited edition peated cask-strength single malt. I got them last week and am looking forward to trying them. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a few more days until I get over a nasty cold I picked up last week and am still trying to shake.

I’ll let you know what I think of the whiskies in the near future. If all goes well, they’ll be pouring their whiskies at WhiskyFest in 2009.

15 Responses to “And now for something completely different: Indian whisky”

  1. kallaskander says:

    Hi John,

    if you want to stay un-biased do not look up that link.

    For all others here is what whiskyfun said.

    http://www.whiskyfun.com/archivedecember08-1.html#011208

    India is a whisky nation in the making and Amrut probably the best in the lot.

    At least Amrut has seen grain and has nothing to do with molasses.

  2. butephoto says:

    I tired an Amrut at this year’s Whisky Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was really good stuff and I’m keen to try more. Looking forward to your thoughts on these.

  3. lawschooldrunk says:

    make sure any medication you may be on after your cold goes away does not affect your taste buds.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Butephoto: Glad to hear this. I’m starting to get my taste buds back. I’ll be ready to taste them by this weekend and should post up my thoughts shortly after. (BTW: I like your forum. Keep up the good work!)

    lawschooldrunk: I’m off the meds now. I’m in recovery mode. The worst is over.

  5. John, I’ve had the pleasure of tasting all of the Amrut malts, and found them very interesting. You’re in for a treat!

    In fact, a Blackadder bottling of Amrut was named the Best Daily Dram in the Malt Maniacs Awards a few weeks ago (in a blind tasting!).

    Mark

  6. Scott says:

    John,
    How very exciting. Have they sent you any news on their distribution yet? Or anyone to contact about that information. I work at a liquor store in NY and would love to see an Indian whiskey on the shelves.

  7. Leither says:

    Yip, Amrut is good stuff indeed. Their rum is pretty good too if you can get hold of it.

    At a blind tasting of Islay malts a year or so ago we were served up a mystery dram of Peated CS Amrut and we were all convinced it was from one of the distilleries from the south shore of Islay. The empty bottle had to be produced pronto for us to believe it!

    Subsequently I’ve also tried the unpeated CS and it was also good, altho the diluted variants I found a bit indifferent.

  8. Scott, they’re talking with a distributor in the U.S., but the economic crunch forced them to hold off on doing a deal until mid-2009…

  9. John Hansell says:

    Yes, they told me the same thing. Sometime mid-2009.

  10. Magnus says:

    Indian single cask whisky is relly good. atleast the bootlings i tried. the peated one is really good dram. only 3-4 years and that good!

  11. Thomas says:

    I’ve started to include Amrut Whisky in my “Whiskies around the world” tastings about a year ago, always together with very good alternatives from Scotland, Japan etc.
    Sometimes, I ask the guests to rate the tasted whiskies without telling beforehand which was which. In these blind ratings the Amrut was always amoung the top-runners being an interesting and very pleasing Malt…

    Although the Amrut representatives are regular visitors to whisky fairs in Germany, their distribution is still quite patchy and they do have a way to go to build their market. Yet, I am not quite sure if they really mean to expand and stay abroad – given the growing demand in their own country ?

  12. Hey John,

    I did a blind tasting of single malt whiskies a couple of months ago where I poured the three Amrut whiskies (Amrut, Amrut Peated and Amrut Cask Strength), Yamazaki 12, Yamazaki 18 and Auchentoshan 12Yr. All the whiskies showed well, but in particular the Amrut Cask Strength and the Yamazaki 12Yr shone. Overall my customers were shocked by the quality of whisky produced by Amrut, and most of them didn’t think they could distinguish it from single malt scotch.

    Happy New Year!

    Andrew

  13. John Hansell says:

    Andrew, I did taste them the other night and I must say that I was pretty impressed considering how young they are.

  14. If only the angels in Bangalore weren’t so greedy we’d have something even more spectacular in another 5-10 years…

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