Malt Advocate Whisky Awards “World Whisky of the Year”: Amrut FusionFebruary 23rd, 2011
This is a new award category for us. It includes all of the whisky distilling nations outside the major ones (United States, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland). We created this category to recognize that there are some wonderful whiskies being produced in countries like Japan, India, Sweden, England, and many more, but there aren’t enough whiskies made in any of these countries (and imported to the United States) to warrant their own category.
India’s Amrut distillery changed the way many think of Indian whisky — that it was just cheap Scotch whisky blended with who knows what and sold as Indian whisky. Amrut is making whisky, and it’s very good. Also, because of India’s very warm climate, the whisky matures very quickly, making it relatively affordable. Indeed, the Amrut whisky being sold in the U.S. (while bearing no age statement) is generally not over six years old.
Amrut finally began exporting their whisky to the U.S. in 2010. We’ve tasted our way through the various expressions (peated, sherried, cask strength, etc.) and we enjoyed them all, but the one that really impressed us was Amrut Fusion.
Fusion shows balance, complexity, and surprising maturity for its age — these are the defining characteristics for what is the best Indian whisky we have ever tasted. Combining Indian malt and peated Scottish malt, this whisky shows a sweet side, but is never cloying, with rich caramel, vanilla custard, and fruit cocktail in light syrup, balanced by vibrant — almost floral — dried peat smoke, delicate white pepper, and a hint of tropical fruit. We look forward to more great whiskies from Amrut.
(Editor’s note: A second generation of Amrut will be in distribution in the United States by the time you read this. Compared to the original release, it comes across as being a little smokier, slightly drier, and perhaps not as rounded, but it’s still a very nice whisky.)
Tomorrow the “Pioneer of the Year” will be posted.